The G-8 Summit invitation to Meles Zenawi demonstrates that whatever the Obama administration has learned from the Arab Spring, it doesn't apply to Africa. It should. Cosseting autocratic regimes rarely ends well for anybody.
In a thugtatorship, the purpose of seizing and clinging to political power is solely to accumulate personal wealth for the ruling class by stealing public funds and depriving the broader population scarce resources necessary for basic survival.
The Tunisian people's revolution provides practical insights into the prerequisites for dismantling dictatorships in Africa. The first lesson is that when dictatorships end, their end could come with either a bang or a whimper.