US strengthens trust in Africa

With the attendance of representatives from about 50 African countries, the US-Africa Leaders Summit is one of the largest international events to take place in Washington D.C. since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The US wants to send a clear signal about its commitments to strengthening the partnership as well as supporting Africa's voice in international policy.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks at the US-Africa Leaders Summit. (Photo: AFP/VNA)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks at the US-Africa Leaders Summit. (Photo: AFP/VNA)

In a statement, the White House shared that the US-Africa Leaders Summit, which is taking place from December 13 to 15 in Washington D.C., aims to demonstrate the long-term commitments of the US to Africa, emphasising the importance of the US-Africa relationship and strengthening cooperation on shared global priorities.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stated that this summit provides an opportunity to deepen the partnership with the African continent. Washington will focus efforts to strengthen this partnership in areas ranging from trade tohealthcare to security issues.

The first US-Africa Leaders Summit was held in 2014 under President Barack Obama. The 2014 conference was considered an important historical milestone, not only because of the origins of the then black US president but also because of Washington's strong commitments to strengthening its partnership with Africa.

According to observers, the US's commitments to Africa have been quite modest in recent years. Therefore, US President Joe Biden's reception of dozens of African leaders in Washington aims to revive trust between the two sides while contributing to restoring the US's position in the continent.

In addition to the priorities mentioned at the 2014 summit, the second US-Africa Leaders Summit covers many fields, including a series of challenges that have been emerging globally and especially in Africa.

US President Joe Biden's reception of dozens of African leaders in Washington will revive trust between the two sides, thus contributing to restoring the US's position in the continent.

The White House stressed that, based on shared values, the leaders of the US and Africa will discuss measures to promote peace and security, respond to the climate crisis and food security crisis, strengthen regional and global health, and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and future pandemics.

From the side of African countries, the top priority at this meeting is to find economic support and resources to deal with pressing regional issues such as food security and climate change. Egyptian Ambassador to the US Motaz Zahran said that the US-Africa Leaders Summit is expected to implement the results of the 27th session of the Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 27) by promoting the implementation of international commitments to help developing countries respond to climate change.

In addition, African countries are also seeking cooperation to enhance security to fight terrorism, in the context that some terrorist groups still exist in some African countries and are increasing in influence.

White House officials revealed that President Joe Biden is expected to announce his support for the admission of the African Union (AU) as a permanent member of the G20 group, in order to provide opportunities for countries in this continent to participate more deeply in common global issues. South Africa is currently the only African member of the G20, while the AU has 55 member countries.

US and African leaders are also expected to announce new initiatives to increase US participation in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), as well as initiatives to promote the recovery of the African economy.

As a continent with great potential, Africa has an important position and role in the foreign policy of major countries in the world. In August, the US announced a new strategy for sub-Saharan Africa, emphasising that Washington and its allies and partners see Africa as an integral part of national security. President Joe Biden's top Africa advisor, Judd Devermont, said the world needs more of Africa's voice on issues related to the global economy, climate change, health and security.