US-Africa Leaders Summit: Biden to reboot ties with Africa, back AU spot in G20

US-Africa Leaders Summit: Biden to reboot ties with Africa, back AU spot in G20

The annual US-Africa Leaders Summit kicks off this Tuesday Dec.13 in Washington, D.C., where President Joe Biden will host about 50 African leaders, their delegations and Africans in the private sector and diaspora communities in the United States.

The Biden’s three-day summit, which will focus on values such as democracy and good governance, as well as fighting climate change, will also feature announcements of new US investment and highlight food security — worsened by the Russia-Ukraine war.

One key topic will be the fate of the African Growth and Opportunity Act, the 2000 deal that granted duty-free access to the US market for most products from sub-Saharan nations that meet standards on rights and democracy. The pact expires in 2025, leading African leaders to seek clarity at a time that the United States has soured on trade deals.

President Biden is also expected to discuss the African Union’s role in the Group of 20 nations during the summit and he will back a permanent spot for the bloc in G20, seeking to elevate the continent’s role, the White House said. “It’s past time Africa has permanent seats at the table in international organizations and initiatives,” Judd Devermont from the National Security Council said. “We need more African voices in international conversations that concern the global economy, democracy and governance, climate change, health and security,” said Devermont, referring to the US commitment to the continent after inroads by China and Russia.

Biden’s pledge comes after he threw his support behind the expansion of the United Nations Security Council, including representation of Africa, during a speech to the world body in September.

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