President Biden plans African Leaders Summit mid-December

As a further major step to strengthen relations, President Joe Biden plans to host African leaders in the White House mid-December
Photocredit: Horn Observer

As a further major step to strengthen relations, President Joe Biden plans to host African leaders in the White House in mid-December. According to reports, the US-African summit will discuss the emerging global order, changing geopolitical and economic issues and also offer enormous funds for various development projects as well as for good governance and human rights.

Under the plan, Washington says, the summit will focus on existing challenges; especially those relating to the peace and security, food security to climate change, and poverty alleviation directions across Africa.

The high-level dialogue is expected to set the scene for reviewing opportunities for the United States and African public and private sector leaders; and how to strengthen the economic partnership between the United States and Africa related to large-scale investments in key sectors.

“The summit will demonstrate the United States’ enduring commitment to Africa, and will underscore the importance of US-Africa relations and increased cooperation on shared global priorities,” Biden said in a statement.

The president believes that US collaboration with leaders from African governments, civil society, the private sector and the African diaspora will help tackle some of the challenges.

The US-Africa Leaders’ Summit scheduled for Dec. 13-15 was announced in virtual remarks by Vice President Kamala Harris to the US-Africa Business Summit in Marrakesh hosted by the Corporate Council on Africa and the Kingdom of Morocco and attended by a U.S. delegation.

As already known, Biden is yet to visit Africa. But the forthcoming summit gives an opportunity for comprehensive interactions with African leaders. A backbeat of Biden’s efforts is to promote Western democracies as a counterweight to China, offering billions of dollars for various projects including infrastructure and energy.

In terms of broadening trade and economic cooperation, according to sources, African leaders will be required to bring huge delegations for special sessions during the mid-December summit. Together with their potential American investors, they will examine ways of exploring and leveraging the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

The AfCFTA aims at creating a single market with an estimated 1.3 billion population, and ultimately requires all kinds of business services and consumable products. Quite challenging though, but there are new legislations which stipulate localising production and distribution inside Africa.

The United States government and private sector leaders, together with African political and corporate business leaders, have been consistently working over the years to share insights on critical issues and policies influencing the US-Africa economic partnership.

The forthcoming summit will drive billions of dollars of investment in Africa, build new markets for American products and create thousands of jobs for African and American workers.

The US Agency for International Development will be working close with African institutions and organisations, and will be working closely on the participation for Africans. During the past few months USAID has provided nearly US$1.3billion in aid to the Horn of Africa – Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia are listed as beneficiaries – to help stave-off mass starvation and death in the drought-stricken region.

Dana Banks, White House Senior Director for Africa, said the White House administration has been pushing for the Prosper Africa Build Together Campaign, which will drive billions of dollars of investment in Africa. Summit details will soon be announced, according to Washington and the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA).

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