President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that the United States will host a major meeting in December in Washington, DC, to examine urgent issues ranging from food security to climate change.

“The summit will demonstrate the United States’ enduring commitment to Africa, and will underscore the importance of U.S.-Africa relations and increased cooperation on shared global priorities,” Biden said in a statement.

The U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, set for December 13-15, was announced concurrently in virtual comments by Vice President Kamala Harris to the U.S.-Africa Business Summit in Marrakech, organized by the Corporate Council on Africa and the Kingdom of Morocco and attended by a U.S. team. 

According to a senior administration source who spoke on the condition of anonymity about the US-Africa summit preparations, roughly 50 African leaders are likely to join Biden for the Dec. 13-15 series of discussions.

It will come at the conclusion of a year in which Biden has traveled to various parts of the globe to see US allies in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Biden has yet to visit Africa since becoming president, and the meeting will be his most in-depth look at the continent’s complexity.

The person said the US-Africa conference was not entirely about Beijing, despite the fact that promoting Western democracies as a counterbalance to China has been a backbeat of Biden’s diplomatic efforts thus far.

“We are not asking our African partners to choose,” a Reuters official said. “We believe the United States offers a better model, but we are not asking our African partners to choose.”

The United States Agency for International Development said on Monday that it would provide about $1.3 billion in relief to drought-stricken Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia.

Biden said that the summit would encourage new economic participation, democracy and human rights, peace and security, and address concerns like as food security, climate change, and the pandemic.

According to the source, the president thinks that US partnership with leaders from African governments, civic society, the commercial sector, and the African diaspora would assist address some of the difficulties.

Source: Reuters

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