Biden focuses on Africa despite Chinese and Russian growth efforts
U.S. President Joe Biden is hosting a summit with Africa this week to revitalize relations with the continent in the face of competition from China and Russia.
The three-day summit in Washington will provide an opportunity to announce new investments, discuss food security and climate change, as well as democracy and governance.
Above all, to show that the US is still interested in Africa, eight years after the first such summit in 2014 under President Barack Obama.
Former President Donald Trump has made no secret of his disdain for the African continent, whereas Joe Biden, a champion of multilateralism, intends to re-establish Africa at the center of global diplomacy.
He supports the idea of Africa having a seat on the United Nations Security Council. According to a presidential aide, the African Union will be formally represented at the G20 summit and the Security Council.
“This decade will be decisive,” said Judd Devermont, the National Security Council and Senior Director for African Affairs, adding that the Biden current government “firmly believes that Africa will have a decisive voice.”
The summit follows the announcement of a new “Africa” strategy last summer, which announced an overhaul of US policy in Sub-Saharan Africa to counter the Chinese and Russian presence there.
China is the world’s largest creditor to poor and developing countries, and it is investing heavily in Africa’s resource-rich continent.
Similarly, Russia has increased its presence there, including by sending mercenaries, and maintains close ties with some capitals, including those that decided not to vote for a United Nations resolution condemning the invasion of Ukraine, a major point of contention with the US, in early March.
During a summer tour of Africa, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called for a “true partnership” with Africa