President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. met December 14 with President Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), President Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon, President George Manneh Weah of Liberia, President Andry Nirina Rajoelina of Madagascar, President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, and President Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone to discuss their countries’ upcoming elections in 2023 at this critical time for democracy globally. President Biden reflected on the recent midterm elections, noting that the strength and resilience of American democracy was reaffirmed in the process, and he reinforced the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to working collectively to renew and defend democracy at home and abroad. Although elections themselves do not equal democracy, President Biden underscored that holding elections is fundamental to a functioning democracy.
Together the leaders discussed the challenges of holding elections and exercising the right to vote, including foreign interference and political violence, and shared best practices for how to manage these risks and ensure transparency and public confidence in the electoral process. Participants reaffirmed their commitment to hold free, fair, and transparent elections conducted by competent, independent, and impartial national electoral bodies, as enshrined in the African Charter on Democracy, Elections, and Governance.
The elections in Africa in 2023 will be consequential. While the United States does not support any specific candidate or party, the United States is committed to supporting electoral processes to deepen democracy in Africa. Working with Congress, the United States plans to provide over $165 million to support elections and good governance in Africa in 2023. The United States has provided nearly $50 million in support of civil society and the electoral commissions in the Nigeria and the DRC.