By Kestér Kenn Klomegâh
President Joe Biden has told 49 African leaders and heads of African Union who assembled in Washington for the second U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit that United States is raising its relations and renewing a resonating commitment towards improving developments on the continent.
his speech, Biden referring to the fact that the United States is a
reliable partner offered $55 billion in commitment for investments over
the next three years, and more than $15 billion for private trade and
said a new agreement with the African Continental Free Trade Area will
give American companies access to 1.3 billion people and a market valued
at $3.4 trillion. He listed companies that had made deals at the
summit, including General Electric Co and Cisco Systems Inc.
hailed projects from American companies, including a collaboration
between Microsoft Corp. and Viasat Inc. to bring internet access to 5
million Africans. Microsoft aims to bring access to 100 million people
across the continent by the end of 2025. Cisco is working with the Biden
administration to train 3 million more technology workers in Africa
over the next 10 years.
United States is all-in on Africa’s future,” Biden said on economic
ties between the U.S. and Africa that included CEOs from more than 300
American and African companies.
talked about new trade opportunities and investments in Africa – which
is currently experiencing geopolitical rivalry and competition for
political and economic influence. “When Africa succeeds, the United
States succeeds. Quite frankly, the whole world succeeds as well,” the
said the United States would also invest in African infrastructure,
citing what he called the first-ever regional transport compact from the
Millennium Challenge Corporation, which would invest $500 million to
build and maintain roads and implement policies to reduce transportation
costs. Biden said he expected the MCC to commit an additional $2.5
billion in Africa over the next three years.
announced a memorandum of understanding with Africa on free trade
security in order to unlock new opportunities for trade, as well as
investments in infrastructure to facilitate trade within Africa.
addition, Biden announced that the U.S. will invest $350 million to
facilitate Africa’s participation in the digital economy and the
International Development Finance Corporation will invest nearly $370
million for new projects.
Africa’s infrastructure is essential to our vision of building a
stronger global economy that can better withstand the kinds of shocks
that we’ve seen the past few years,” he said.
during a dinner in honor of the African guests, Biden, in a toast,
spoke about the need for African nations and the United States to work
together to address global challenges.
never been more optimistic about our shared future,” Biden said.
“Together we can deliver a world that is healthier and safer, more
equal, more just, more prosperous and more filled with opportunity for
President Macky Sall, who is also chairman of the African Union, told
Biden that “Africa wants to advance the common agenda with you and take
the partnership to the next level in an inclusive approach, bringing
together governments, the private sector, civil society and the African
U.S. commitments, Biden pledged $55 billion in financial aid over the
next three years. The money will go to “a wide range of sectors to
tackle the core challenges of our time” and is being distributed in
close partnership with Congress.
is what the White House has said so far about where the $55 billion
will go: On Health, the Biden-Harris administration has invested and
committed to provide nearly $20 billion in health programs in the Africa
region, the White House said.
includes $11.5 billion to address HIV/AIDS; more than $2 billion to
combat malaria; more than $2 billion in support of family planning and
reproductive health as well as maternal and child health; and more than
$2 billion to address the health, humanitarian, and economic impacts of
administration also plans to ask Congress for $4 billion for healthcare
workers in Africa, investing $1.33 billion annually from 2022 to 2024.
to Climate Change: Since January 2021, the administration has invested
and plans to provide at least $1.1 billion to support African-led
efforts to support conservation, climate adaptation, and energy
funds include U.S. International Development Finance Corporation
investments into Malawi’s Golomoti JCM Solar Corporation, and a Climate
Action Infrastructure Facility.
on Trade: In another development, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine
Tai has signed a memorandum of understanding with African Continental
Free Trade Area aims at exploring work on the next phases of the
U.S.-African trade relationship. United States sees enormous
opportunities to improve the longstanding African Growth and Opportunity
Act (AGOA) system of trade preferences, which is due to expire in 2025.
world that we’re living in today certainly has been transformed by
significant events that we have experienced since 2015, the last time
the program was reauthorized,” Tai noted during a meeting of trade
ministers from Sub-Saharan Africa to discuss AGOA as part of a
U.S.-Africa summit in Washington. “We’ve consistently seen that there
are opportunities for the program to be better, there could be much
better uptake and utilization of the program.”
offered promise as a “stepping stone to address regional and global
challenges,” especially with Africa’s young and entrepreneurial
population, she said. “The future is Africa, and engaging with this
continent is the key to prosperity for all of us.”
the summit, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the U.S. government
is investing in infrastructure to foster African innovation to create a
free flow of ideas, information, and investment for entrepreneurs. For
instance, U.S. Development Finance Corporation is investing $300 million
in building data centres across the continent.
concerning Young entrepreneurs: United States is investing in raising
leaders through the Young African Leaders Initiative and Mandela
Washington Fellows. In addition, last September 2022, the U.S. African
Development Foundation partnered with the Tony Elumelu Foundation to
create a new program to provide financing, technical assistance, and
mentorship to emerging innovators in Africa.
recently, America also launched an initiative to connect up-and-coming
climate entrepreneurs with American companies and also to promote
greater encouragement by American companies in Africa.
private sector already invests more than $4 in Africa for every dollar
that our government allocates to the region in foreign assistance – and
it wants to do more. That’s the objective of our Office of Global
Partnerships, which will take a U.S. private sector delegation to Ghana
in February,” added Blinken.
summit was the largest international gathering in Washington since the
coronavirus pandemic. The first U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit was held 2014
during the time of Barack Obama, the 44th president of the United
States from 2009 to 2017.