By Aloysius Uche Ordu, Danielle Resnick
Last week’s US-Africa Leaders Summit brought more than 40 African presidents to Washington, DC for three days of engagement with President Biden, congressional leaders, U.S. diplomats, business leaders, and the African diaspora on an impressive array of issues. The Summit implicitly intended to reset relationships with the continent after the previous administration’s antipathy and the growing presence of other geopolitical players, such as China and Russia, in the region. Explicitly, the White House emphasized the need to see African countries as equal partners and recognize the continent’s tremendous potential. Yet, now that the Summit has ended, what was promised and how can those promises be upheld?
A dizzying sum of financial commitments were made, many of which require congressional approval. Importantly, these commitments are all in priority areas that could be potential game-changers. For instance, the Biden administration announced $55 billion over the next three years to support the numerous objectives outlined in the African Union’s “Agenda 2063”. Infrastructure is among the top targets for this support, and a major priority of African leaders.