President Biden Plans African Leaders Summit Mid-December – OpEd


As a further major step to strengthen relations, President Joe Biden plans to hold African leaders in the White House mid-December. According reports, the U.S.-African summit will discuss the emerging global order, changing geopolitical and economic issues and will 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 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 the opportunities for the United States and African public and private sector leaders, 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 U.S.-Africa relations and increased cooperation on shared global priorities,” Biden said in a statement.

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

The U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, scheduled for Dec. 13-15, was announced simultaneously in virtual remarks by Vice President Kamala Harris to the U.S.-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 ready known, Biden is yet to visit Africa. But the forthcoming summit gives an opportunity for a comprehensive interaction with African leaders. A backbeat of Biden’s efforts is to promote Western democracies as a counterweight to China, offer billions of dollars for various projects including infrastructure and energy.

In terms of broadening trade and economic cooperation, according to sources, African leaders would be required to bring huge delegations for special sessions during the mid-December summit. Together with their potential American investors would examine ways for exploring and leveraging unto 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 that stipulate localizing 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 these 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 U.S. Agency for International Development would be working close with African institutions and organizations, it would be working closely on the participation for Africans. During these months, USAID has provided nearly US$1.3 billion in aid to the Horn of Africa. Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia are listed as beneficiaries, to help stave off mass starvation and deaths 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 that would drive billions of dollars of investment in Africa. Summit details will soon be announced, according to Washington and the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA).

Kester Kenn Klomegah

Kester Kenn Klomegah is an independent researcher and a policy consultant on African affairs in the Russian Federation and Eurasian Union. He has won media awards for highlighting economic diplomacy in the region with Africa. Currently, Klomegah is a Special Representative for Africa on the Board of the Russian Trade and Economic Development Council. He enjoys travelling and visiting historical places in Eastern and Central Europe. Klomegah is a frequent and passionate contributor to Eurasia Review.

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