The United States aims to boost cooperation with African nations as President Joe Biden hosts dozens of regional leaders at the second US-Africa Leaders Summit this week in Washington, DC.
Beginning on Tuesday, the three-day summit will focus on key challenges, including the climate crisis, good governance, food security and global health, as well as bolstering US-Africa trade and investment opportunities.
“The summit … is rooted in the recognition that Africa is a key geopolitical player. The continent will shape the future not just of the African people, but also the world,” US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters on Monday afternoon.
Forty-nine African heads of state and leaders, as well as the African Union, were invited to the summit, Sullivan said during a news conference.
The talks – a follow-up to the first such gathering hosted by former US President Barack Obama eight years ago – mark the biggest international gathering in Washington, DC, since before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Biden has sought to rebuild Washington’s relationship with other countries, as well as to re-engage with global organisations like the United Nations, after four years of his predecessor Donald Trump’s “America First” approach to foreign policy.
The US role in Africa receded during that time, and Biden administration officials have stressed the need to strengthen ties with like-minded countries in the region.
“Working closely with Congress, the US will commit $55bn to Africa over the course of the next three years,” Sullivan said on Monday.