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Biden to Hold Summit with African Leaders Next Year

“This Summit will continue efforts to strengthen ties with African partners based on principles of mutual respect and shared interests and values,” the White House said in a press release

According to the administration, the meeting is also to serve as an opportunity for dialogue and collaboration between the US and its African counterparts to define key cooperation areas for the future of the continent.

Additional details about the summit will be revealed in the future, the press release says.

The announcement comes as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is in the midst of his first official visit to Africa. The three-country tour saw Blinkenvisiting Kenya and Nigeria’s capitals before the tour’s planned ending in Senegal.

Geopolitical experts and commentators say that the US’ recent focus on Africa aims to counter China’s increasing investment in the region, although Blinken did not mention the Asian superpower during any of his speeches in Africa.

China, for its part, is also holding a China-Africa cooperation conference in Dakar later this month.

As part of the US’ new strategy with Africa, Blinken said during his visit to Nigeria that the Biden White House intends to treat the continent as a “major geopolitical power.” 

In a veiled reference to China’s increasing investments in Africa, Blinken argued that the US’ new Africa strategy also entails new infrastructure deals that are not destructive to African countries and do not have any “strings” attached.

Blinken emphasized the importance of treating Africa as an equal partner, arguing that that is often not the case in many international partnerships, where African countries are “treated as junior partners or worse.”

On the democratization front, however, Blinken warned against Africa’s “democratic backsliding,” and called for better accountability when it comes to human rights.

Biden’s administration announced a new strategy for cooperation with Africa a few months ago. The new strategy focuses on building infrastructure in the continent, but observers still say that Africa lags behind in comparison to the Biden administration’s other foreign policy priorities.

Source; Morocco World News.

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