Biden says U.S. is 'all in' on Africa
STORY: U.S. President Joe Biden tried to jumpstart his nation’s relationship with African countries on Wednesday, after years where the continent was less of a priority and China made inroads with big investments and trade
“The United States is all in on Africa’s future and the work we’ve done over the past two years... Because when Africa succeeds, the United States succeeds. Quite frankly, the whole world succeeds as well.”
His remarks during a three-day summit with African leaders aim to set the U.S. up as a major partner, even as China’s trade with the continent dwarf’s Americas four times over...
On Wednesday Biden listed U.S. firms announcing deals at the summit, including GE and Cisco.
And during a White House dinner, Biden addressed what he called America’s ‘original sin’ - the enslavement of millions – and honored their descendants and the broader African diaspora.
“Our people lie at the heart of the deep and profound connection that forever binds Africa and the United States together... We remember the stolen men and women and children were brought to our shores in chains, subjected to unimaginable cruelty."
Beijing has held its own high-level meetings with African leaders every three years for over two decades.
Whereas this week’s U.S. summit is the first of its kind with African nations since 2014, under President Barack Obama.
As part of it, Biden promised $55 billion dollars for African food security, climate change and more.
He’s also expected to back the African Union’s admission to the G20 during Thursday's summit events.
Biden did not mention China on Wednesday, and U.S. officials have been reluctant to frame the gathering as a battle for influence.
Washington has also dialed back criticism of Beijing's lending practices and big infrastructure projects.
Ahead of the summit, China’s foreign ministry said that its interests in Africa were based on, quote, “sincerity” and that Beijing is opposed to treating the continent as an “arena for great powers to compete with each other”.