US-Africa leaders summit to demonstrate ‘enduring commitment to Africa’: Biden administration

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US President Joe Biden has invited Africa’s leaders to the White House for a summit set to be held in December 2022.

Biden said the summit is to demonstrate the United States commitment to the African continent. The US president is yet to visit Africa, despite several trips to other regions since taking office in January last year.

The dates set for the summit are December 13 to 15, 2022. That’s when the White House will be welcoming heads of state from across Africa for the US-Africa Leaders Summit.

The Biden administration says it will be a chance to discuss some of the most pressing global issues, including food security, climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Biden also plans to reinforce his commitment to democracy and human rights. And seek to try to find ways for better economic engagement between America and Africa.

This comes after a year and a half in office, during which critics say Biden has largely ignored Africa. The Asia-Pacific region, with an emphasis on countering the rise of China, has dominated much of the administration’s foreign policy agenda. With the addition of the war in Ukraine, and pushing back against Russia, since its invasion of its neighbour in February 2022.

Biden has visited Asia, Europe and most recently Israel and Saudi Arabia, but is yet to step foot on the African continent as the US president.

Even so, the White House said in a statement this summit would be an opportunity to demonstrate the United States’ “enduring commitment to Africa” and underscore the “importance of US-Africa relations”.

Earlier this week the US Agency for International Development said it would be providing almost $1.3 billion dollars to Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia to combat drought-conditions and try to prevent mass starvation.