Biden Courts African Leaders; Hosts Summit in Washington DC

Joe Biden, US President (FILE IMAGE)

Washington DC: In what is being seen as a strategic move to engage Africa, top African leaders are being hosted in Washington DC by US President Joe Biden for the US-Africa Summit.

The move is aimed at strengthening cooperation with the global south and will also seek to undercut China’s influence in Africa.

“This summit is an opportunity to deepen the many partnerships we have on the African continent,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said when asked about the shadow that China and Russia cast on the meetings.

“We will focus on our efforts to strengthen these partnerships across a wide-range of sectors spanning from businesses to health to peace and security, but our focus will be on Africa next week,” Pierre added.


  • The summit will be the biggest international gathering in Washington since the start of COVID-19 pandemic hosting delegations from all 49 invited African countries and the African Union, alongside members of the civil society and private sector.
  • The US is rolling out a red carpet in DC and also ensuring that security for these leaders is beefed up; many key streets in the capital have been barricaded and street parking has been curbed.
  • In the lead-up to the three-day US-Africa Leaders Summit that begins on Tuesday, many companies have advised their staff to work from home with traffic restrictions in the US capital.
  • Meanwhile, President Biden is expected to participate with leaders in a session on promoting food security and food systems resilience.
  • “The President will close the day with a discussion on food security and food systems resilience, which is a critical issue for our African partners, who have been disproportionately impacted by the rise in food and fertilizer prices and disruptions to global supply chains as a result of Russia’s war against Ukraine,” Jake Sullivan, National Security Advisor, said.
  • Four countries that were suspended from the African Union — Guinea, Sudan, Mali and Burkina Faso — have not been invited to the summit, because coups in those nations led to unconstitutional changes in power.
  • The East African nation of Eritrea was also not invited as Washington did not have full diplomatic relations with the country.
  • According to analysts, the African leaders will be looking for Biden to make some major commitments during the summit, including announcing his first presidential visit to sub-Saharan Africa, which will boost the continent’s economy through private sector investment, trade and more.
  • Meanwhile, it could be an opportunity for Biden to demonstrate that Africa is more than a battleground in its economic and military competition with Beijing and Moscow.

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