US-Africa Leaders Summit to be held in 2022

White House says President Biden will host African counterparts 'to strengthen ties'

President Joe Biden will welcome leaders from Africa next year for the second US-Africa Leaders Summit, the White House announced on Friday.

“This summit will continue efforts to strengthen ties with African partners based on principles of mutual respect and shared interests and values,” the White House announcement read.

“It will also serve as an opportunity to listen to and collaborate with African counterparts on key areas the United States and Africa define as critical for the future of the continent and our global community.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken previewed the summit during a Friday speech to the Economic Community of West Africa on his multi-day trip to the continent.

“As a sign of our commitment to our partnerships across the continent, President Biden intends to host the US-Africa Leaders Summit to drive the kind of high-level diplomacy and engagement that can transform relationships and make effective co-operation possible,” he said.

The US has been increasingly involved in Africa as the continent grows in economic and political power, and as several conflicts continue to be waged across the region, including in Ethiopia and Sudan.

China is hosting its eighth Forum on China-Africa Co-operation in Dakar, Senegal, next week.

Mr Blinken said he is aware of the possible complications African countries may face by becoming further involved with the US.

“The United States doesn’t want to limit your partnerships with other countries,” he said. “We want to make your partnerships with us even stronger. We don’t want to make you choose. We want to give you choices.”

The secretary of state listed global health, the climate crisis, economic growth, democracy and security as areas in which the US and African nations could expand ties.

A date for the meeting has not been set but the White House said details are forthcoming.

The first US-Africa Leaders Summit was held in 2014 under the presidency of Barack Obama — when Mr Biden served as vice president — but the event was not held under former president Donald Trump.

Updated: November 19th 2021, 9:33 PM
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