US President Joe Biden has said that Africa’s progress is tied to that of the United States and the rest of the world, stressing the importance of partnership in their relations.
President Biden, speaking in Washington DC on Wednesday, said the US was committed to accompanying Africa in its development drive because it and the rest of the world depended on it. Biden was addressing the US-Africa Business Forum as part of the ongoing US-Africa Leaders’ Summit, as Keynote Speaker.
“When Africa succeeds, the United States succeeds. Quite frankly, the whole world succeeds as well,” he said.
The US president added that challenges facing Africa can’t be solved without African leaders at the table, and he said that the continent’s development depended on healthy democracy and good governance.
“The US is committed to supporting every aspect of Africa’s growth…Together we want to build a future opportunity where no one is left behind,” he said.
It’s the second day of the three-day long meeting that brings together African and US leaders to discuss trade partnerships, security and governance, climate change, among others.
Biden in his statement announced a raft of US investments, including in infrastructure, digital transformation, food security, climate change, health and human capital development. He also announced the signing of a “historic” MoU with the African Continental Free Trade Area with a market valued at $3.4 trillion. The deal entails protection for workers across Africa and US, women owned businesses, diasporan owned businesses, among others.
Biden also listed several other US companies that had made deals during the week-long summit.
Over 300 U.S. and African companies were scheduled to meet with heads of the different delegations to discuss investments iopportunities in their respective countries.
“Altogether, the forum has spurred more than $15 billion in new deals, which will [in] turn, lift up, and improve lives of people all across the continent. And that’s the biggest deal of all,” the US President said.
Since coming to office in 2021, Africa is the only continent Biden has not yet visited. But the US president said he’d always been at the forefront of US-Africa relations, citing his role as a United States Senator and as Vice President of the United State under the Obama administration, when the first US-Africa Summit was convened.
Delegations from 49 countries and the African Union, including 45 African leaders are attending the summit.
Among the heads of state are President Julius Maada Bio and Liberia’s George Weah.
Cote d’Ivoire’s Alassane Ouattara is represented by Prime Minister Patrick Achie.
Guinea is among a few countries not invited due to political crises, including Burkina Faso.
The summit will be climax with a dinner to be hosted by Biden, at which he is expected to make further announcements in US-Africa relations, including US’ support for the African Union’s desire to join the elite G20 group of nations as well as the possible inclusion of one African country to the permanent members of UN Security Council.
President Biden is scheduled to meet with President Bio during the course of the summit, among other leaders whose countries are holding elections in 2023.