Tomorrow, Tuesday, Washington will host the leaders of the African continent, to attend a summit focused on a number of global issues, through which President Joe Biden’s administration also aims to “narrow the trust gap” that the continent’s frustration with American policies has expanded, according to identical American sources.
Reading the goals that President Biden aspires to achieve through the summit, the Associated Press said that the US administration aims to “narrow the confidence gap with Africa, which has widened over the years due to frustration with the US commitment to the continent.”
And she added, quoting the White House, that President Biden will take advantage of the African-American summit, which begins Tuesday and continues until Thursday, “to announce his support for adding the African Union as a permanent member of the Group of Twenty (G20).”
The talks are expected to focus on the coronavirus, climate change, the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Africa, trade and other topics, according to White House officials.
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President Biden has invited the heads of 49 African countries, along with African Union Chairman Macky Sall, to the three-day summit in order to highlight how the United States and our African partners can strengthen our partnerships and advance shared priorities, according to a White House press release.
The White House quoted senior officials in the US administration as saying about the summit that, “Among the goals we hope to achieve at the summit are deepening and expanding the African-American partnership, advancing our common priorities, communicating African voices to face the challenges of this era in a cooperative manner, and benefiting from the best of America.” , including our government, our private sector, and our civil society to raise and empower African institutions, citizens, and countries.”
A senior administration official said the summit is “an opportunity for us to hear and meet the aspirations of the African people. That’s why we really focus on what Africans want for themselves and our partnership and to have a conversation about that.”
Regarding the African countries that were not invited to attend the summit, a senior official in the US administration said that 5 countries were not invited, namely Guinea, Sudan, Mali, Burkina Faso and Eritrea.
He explained that “there are 4 countries that made unconstitutional changes to the government, and as a result they were suspended from the African Union, namely: Guinea, Sudan, Mali and Burkina Faso.”
He pointed out that Eritrea was also not invited due to “the lack of full diplomatic relations with it,” according to what the White House stated on its website.
The official noted that there are no bilateral meetings currently scheduled between Biden and African leaders.
Many international media outlets, especially the American ones, highlighted the US-African summit, which comes at a time when the brown continent is facing security, economic and political challenges.
** The talks will not focus on Russian and Chinese influence in Africa
Biden administration officials have played down their growing concerns about the influence of China and Russia in Africa, and said they are trying to focus on efforts to improve cooperation with African leaders.
Asked about the shadow cast by China and Russia on the meetings, White House spokeswoman Karen Jean-Pierre said, “This summit is an opportunity to deepen the many partnerships we have on the African continent.”
“We will focus our efforts to strengthen these partnerships across a broad range of sectors ranging from business to health and peace and security, but our focus will be on Africa next week,” she added.
According to the White House, Biden will use the meeting to announce his support for adding the African Union as a permanent member of the G20.
The US-Africa summit will be the largest international meeting in Washington since the start of the Corona pandemic, as local officials told residents to prepare for roadblocks and heightened security measures as leaders of African countries began arriving for the summit.
President Biden is scheduled to make remarks at the African-American Business Forum, hold small group meetings with the leaders, host them at the White House dinner, and engage in other sessions with the leaders during the meeting.
Biden’s efforts to bring African countries closer to the United States come at a complex moment, as his administration has made it clear that it believes that Chinese and Russian activity in Africa is a major concern for American and African interests.
And the Biden administration had warned, in its new strategy towards sub-Saharan Africa, which it revealed last August, that China, which has pumped billions of dollars into African energy, infrastructure and other projects, sees the region as an arena through which Beijing can “challenge the existing international order.” rules, furthering its narrow geopolitical and trade interests, and undermining transparency and openness.
The administration also sees Russia, Africa’s preeminent arms dealer, as viewing the continent as an environment that allows Kremlin-linked oligarchs and private military companies to focus on fomenting instability for their own financial and strategic interests.
However, White House officials stressed that concerns about the influence of China and Russia in Africa will not be a focus of the summit talks.
It should be noted that the US administration was disappointed that most countries on the continent refused to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but Biden is not expected to talk about the differences publicly, according to the Associated Press.