President Biden says US is 'all in' on Africa - Dispatch Weekly

December 16, 2022 - Reading time: 6 minutes

At a summit with the leaders of the continent this week, US Vice President Joe Biden offered billions of dollars in assistance and investment for Africa.

President Biden informed the 49 African leaders gathered in Washington​ ​DC, “The United States is all in on Africa’s future.”
It is the first such event that Washington has held in eight years.

The conference is perceived as the US’s effort to assert its influence in Africa once again​,​ in opposition to Chinese involvement.

Furthermore, it follows Donald Trump’s four years in power, during which time he alienated many African leaders with his policy choices and disrespectful remarks.

In stark contrast to his predecessor, Mr. Biden adopted an upbeat tone as he told the audience that enhanced ties with Africa were desirable. ​“The United States gains when Africa does. Quite frankly, success extends to the entire world​,​​ he said. ​

He promised to continue on the “essential” investments made in Africa by previous US administrations, claiming that the issues facing the world today required African leadership, ideas​ ​and technologies.

To that purpose, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan ​said that the US would allocate $55 billion (£44 billion) to Africa over the ​next three years.

The summit’s discussions have centred on ​expansion of programme​s currently in operation, including: ​

​* ​Prosper Africa ​(launched ​in 2018​)​ to “increase two-way trade” between African countries and the US​; ​

​*​ ​The Clinton administration’s Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa), which gives African apparel manufacturers preferential access to the US market​; and

* President Obama’s Power Africa initiative, which aims to connect millions of Africans to the grid.

However, it has taken some time for these programmes to become successful. Only slightly more than 1% of US international trade, which is primarily comprised of petroleum imports from Angola and Nigeria, goes to Africa.

The US president ​also ​mentioned a $500 million investment to lower transportation costs at a crucial port in Benin, West Africa​. ​

​Biden said that $15 billion worth of deals had been made during the US-Africa Business Forum and that $350 million will be spent to support the digital economy.

The US president is also likely to support the African Union’s entry as a permanent member of the Group of 20 major economies. He might also reveal plans to visit the continent in the coming months.​

DW Staff

David Lintott is the Editor-in-Chief, leading our team of talented freelance journalists. He specializes in covering culture, sport, and society. Originally from the decaying seaside town of Eastbourne, he attributes his insightful world-weariness to his roots in this unique setting.