Nobody would blame Africans for not focusing on this week’s summit between the United States and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN.) After all, the continent is dealing with a few prior priorities: creeping debt distress in key states largely ignored by the international community, spiking food and fuel prices due to the Ukraine crisis, and an ongoing infrastructure gap holding back development.
However, in many ways, the Southeast Asian bloc presents one of the most compelling comparisons to Africa. The ten-country grouping is similar to Africa in that it contains much cultural, religious and linguistic diversity. Like African continental and regional groupings, it includes members with widely different stances on democracy, and international issues like Ukraine.
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