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US-Africa summit: Biden pledges $55 billion

Status: 12/16/2022 7:58 am

The US-Africa summit ended with a pledge of financial aid and closer cooperation. US President Biden announced billions for investment and famine relief.

A three-day US-Africa summit with 49 African heads of state and government concluded in Washington on Thursday. US President Joe Biden has pledged to spend $55 billion over the next three years on investment and development in the continent. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said Africa was a “significant geopolitical power”. The continent will “shape our future”.

This is the second US summit with Africa since 2014, under the leadership of Barack Obama. Under President Donald Trump, Africa policy has been sidelined. Against the backdrop of China’s growing influence, Biden and Blinken emphasized the principle of partnership with African countries and the importance of democracy.

$2.5 billion for food

Biden announced $2.5 billion for Africa food. The White House said in a statement that the money will go toward addressing severe famine in Africa and building more resilient food systems. “We are facing a global food crisis, and nowhere is this felt more clearly than on the African continent,” Biden said at the end of the summit.

“Famine is resurfacing in the Horn of Africa. High food prices and high trade barriers are affecting the livelihoods of millions of people on the continent.”

Biden emphasizes the importance of the election

Biden also announced a $100 million Department of Defense pilot program. It should drive reforms and build African security structures.

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Addressing the presidents of Gabon, Liberia, Madagascar, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Biden underscored the importance of democratic elections. These countries are due to vote in 2023. In the United States, midterm elections in the fall strengthened American democracy, Biden said. Elections are not synonymous with democracy but are the bedrock of a functioning democracy.

The African Union wants veto power in the UN Security Council

Before the summit, Macky Sall, President of Senegal and Chairman of the African Union (AU), in an interview with the “New York Times” newspaper, insisted that Africa should no longer stand aside. He called for AU membership in the G-20 community of nations and two permanent AU seats on the United Nations Security Council with veto power.

Biden said he supports AU membership, including “permanent representation for Africa” ​​in the G-20 and Security Council reform.