Biden promotes partnerships with Africa at leadership summit | Politics News

President Joe Biden has emphasized the need for balanced partnerships with African nations, as the United States seeks to build stronger relationships and increase trade with countries across the continent. .

In an address at a trade forum open at America-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington on Wednesday, Biden said the talks were about “building connectivity” as well as a “shared future” for the United States and Africa.

“We’ve known for a long time that Africa’s success and prosperity is essential to ensuring a better future for all of us,” Biden told a crowd of political and business leaders. Karma.

He stressed that partnerships must be equal, “not to create political obligations or promote dependence but to promote shared success.”

“When Africa succeeds, America succeeds. To be frank, the whole world succeeds,” he said.

Delegates from 49 African countries, as well as the African Union, were invited to the three-day summit in the US capital, a follow-up event of the summit. first collect so eight years ago under President Barack Obama.

The talks come as Biden is working to rebuild US relationships abroad, after four years of implementing an “America First” foreign policy under his predecessor Donald Trump.

Washington’s rivalry with Beijinghas invested in Africa in recent years at a rate that far exceeds that of the United States, which emerged in the wake of this week’s discussions.

But Biden administration officials sought to downplay that factor in an effort to boost ties with African countries, insisting instead that the summit was “rooted in the recognition that Africa is a important geopolitical players”.

However, the talks received a response from China, when Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Wednesday that the United States should “respect the will of the African people and take concrete actions.” to help Africa develop, instead of constantly smearing and attacking other countries.”

Wang said in a briefing that “it is the common responsibility of the international community to support Africa’s development”, adding that “Africa is not an arena for great power confrontation”. or arbitrary pressure target of certain countries or individuals”.

Al Jazeera’s Kimberly Halkett, reporting from the White House on Wednesday afternoon, said the US is concerned “about the influence that China, as well as Russia, has been able to exert. [in Africa] in recent years, especially under the previous administration of Donald Trump.

Halkett reports that Biden is also doing “damage control.” Trump mentions African countries as “damn nations” during his time in power, sparking worldwide outrage. “There are some repairs that need to be made in these relationships,” she said.

US pledges to invest more

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters earlier this week that over the past few days, the Biden administration has made a series of commitments to increase engagement with Africa, including a pledge to $55 billion planned over the next three years.

On Wednesday, Washington announced more than $15 billion in “two-way trade and investment commitments, agreements and partnerships” with Africa, covering key issues like sustainable energy and the infrastructure.

The United States also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which White House says will create a $3.4 trillion market across the continent.

“Trade running on trusted infrastructure to support and ensure resilient supply chains, while improving Africa’s infrastructure, is essential to our vision of building a stronger global economy,” Biden said in remarks Wednesday.

He also listed the companies that have made deals at the summit so far, including General Electric and Cisco Systems.

African leaders have called for more investment from US companies and agencies to take advantage of Africa’s vast land resources and young population.

Kenyan President William Ruto said: “Instead of exporting goods, the US should look for investment opportunities. “They have the machines, they have the know-how so they can produce for the African continent in Africa.”

Citing projections that Africa’s agribusiness sector will more than triple to $1 trillion by 2030, Ruto said US capital could help address the infrastructure deficit. the physical layer of the continent to unlock growth.

Election meetings, conflict zones

Later Wednesday, Biden will hold a smaller presidential meeting with several African leaders whose countries will hold elections in 2023, followed by a White House dinner for all. leaders and their wives.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken participated in bilateral meetings with African heads of state on the sidelines of the summit, with a particular focus on efforts to resolve conflicts and political tensions.

On Wednesday, Blinken met Tunisian President Kais Saied and stressed the importance of “free and fair” elections in the North African country later this month, “as well as comprehensive reforms to strengthen democratic checks and balances and protect fundamental freedoms”.

Lawmakers and human rights groups in the United States have appeal to the Biden administration to pressure Saied to halt what they describe as the North African nation’s “democratic decline”.

Blinken also welcomes November truce reached for Ethiopia’s conflict-torn northern Tigray region during talks with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Tuesday.

“The Minister called for accelerated implementation of the agreement and access to conflict areas by international human rights monitors,” the State Department said in a statement. a reading about his meeting with Abiy.

“Minister Blinken and the Prime Minister also discussed the urgent need for all Eritrean forces to leave Ethiopia, which would coincide with the disarmament of the Tigrayan fighters.”

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