African leaders are holding a summit this week with US President Joe Biden in Washington, who will seek to convince them that the United States can be a key catalyst for their continent’s development in the years to come.
At the summit that began on Wednesday, the United States will seek to narrow the trust gap with Africa that has widened in recent years amid perceptions that Washington is not paying due attention to the region. The Biden administration is positioning our country as a strong and reliable partner in promoting free and fair elections and driving growth in health and energy.
But the effort comes at a time when the United States lags far behind China in investment in sub-Saharan Africa, which is becoming a key region in the tense competition between the two world powers. The White House insists the summit is more an opportunity to listen to African concerns than an opportunity to counter Beijing, but a core tenet of Biden’s foreign policy overshadows everything else: to demonstrate that the United States is Is in the midst of a historic battle that democracy is a government system preferable to authoritarianism.
That message was made clear in Wednesday’s events: a speech by Biden to business leaders on both continents, a short meeting by the president with some African leaders whose countries will hold elections in 2023, and an invitation from the first lady Dinner White House for all the leaders and their partners.
On top of that, Jill Biden held a show Wednesday morning at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, where she told the audience: “My hope is that the way we feel about each other will last beyond this summit.” “
Biden on Wednesday announced more than $15 billion in promised business investments and partnerships, including a $350 million initiative to help the country modernize its digital systems and to promote equality and female entrepreneurship Includes $350 million initiative.
Matthew Lee in Washington and Cara Anna in Nairobi, Kenya contributed.