“I look forward to working with African governments, civil society, diaspora communities across the United States, and the private sector to continue strengthening our shared vision for the future of U.S-Africa relations.” — President Joe Biden
President Joe Biden announced on Wednesday, July 20th, that the United States will host a summit meeting in December 2022 in Washington, D.C. This meeting will bring together leaders from all over the African continent to tackle serious issues including food security and climate change.
In a statement from the Biden Administration, he said “I look forward to hosting leaders from across the African continent in Washington, DC on December 13-15, 2022, for the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. The Summit will demonstrate the United States’ enduring commitment to Africa and will underscore the importance of U.S-Africa relations and increased cooperation on shared global priorities.”
Approximately 50 African leaders are anticipated to join Biden in attendance for the series of discussions taking place at the summit from December 13 to 15, said a senior administration official speaking to Reuters under the condition of anonymity.
The summit is scheduled to occur following the end of Biden’s travels to the Middle East, Europe, and Asia to meet with American allies.
Since entering office, Biden has not yet visited Africa; the summit will be his most in-depth examination of the complexity of the continent.
The anonymous senior administration official reassured Reuters that the U.S.-Africa conference was not exclusively about Beijing, despite the fact that Biden’s promotion of Western democracies as a counterweight to China’s growing global influence has been a mainstay of his diplomatic efforts during his presidency.
In 2009, China surpassed the United States as the largest trading partner with Africa. Many African nations have close relations with the Chinese government through trade deals and investment opportunities.
The official told Reuters, “We are not asking our African partners to choose. We believe the United States offers a better model, but we are not asking our African partners to choose.”
The U.S. Agency for International Development announced on Monday, July 18th, that it is spending approximately $1.3 billion in aid to the Horn of Africa countries, including Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia, in order to assist in preventing widespread famine and deaths in the drought-stricken region.
According to Biden, “The U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit will build on our shared values to better foster new economic engagement; reinforce the U.S.-Africa commitment to democracy and human rights; mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and of future pandemics; work collaboratively to strengthen regional and global health; promote food security; advance peace and security; respond to the climate crisis, and amplify diaspora ties.”
Biden also said, “I look forward to working with African governments, civil society, diaspora communities across the United States, and the private sector to continue strengthening our shared vision for the future of U.S.-Africa relations.”