January 30, 2023

President Biden invites 49 African Heads of State to Summit

2 min read

By Karen Stokes

The U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, was held December 13–15, 2022 in Washington, DC, more than eight years after the first summit.

China, Russia, the European Union, Japan and Turkey have held many similar gatherings with African diplomats, businesspeople and civil groups, this is only the second such summit the U.S. is hosting in the last eight years. The meeting was inaugurated in 2014 under President Barack Obama.

President Biden has invited 49 African heads of state, plus the AU Chair Commissioner to Washington, D.C., for the three-day summit, to highlight how the United States and our African partners are strengthening our partnerships and advancing shared priorities.

This summit is a reflection of the U.S. strategy towards Sub-Saharan Africa and the African Union’s Agenda 2063, both of which emphasize the critical importance of the region in meeting this era’s defining challenges.

According to senior administration officials, some of the aims of the summit are deepening and expanding the long-term U.S.-Africa partnership and advancing our shared priorities; amplifying African voices to collaboratively meet this era’s defining challenges; and leveraging the best of America, including our government, our private sector, and civil society, to uplift and empower African institutions, citizens, and nations.

“We are committed to expanding and modernizing U.S. partnerships in Africa, working together to find innovative solutions to new and longstanding challenges, harnessing new research and technologies and investing in long-term sources of strength while meeting immediate needs. We will focus on what we will do with African nations and people,” said a senior administration official.

A robust partnership between the United States and African nations is really vital to achieve shared priorities. Recovering from the pandemic or preparing for future ones by strengthening health systems, creating broad-based economic opportunity both in Africa and the United States, addressing the climate crisis, expanding energy access, and a just energy transition.

“And finally, as a senior administration official said, we’re going to bring the best of America to this summit. I think that will showcase the longstanding ways in which we work with the region but also highlight how we intend to do things differently or more expansively as we move into the future.”

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