In a renewed effort to regain influence on the continent, the United States is laying on the red carpet for leaders across Africa on Tuesday and announcing $55 billion in support.
After years of Chinese and Russian intrusions across the continent, nearly 50 African heads of state or government have flocked to Washington during a pre-Christmas cold wave for three days of courting by President Joe Biden.
The administration will seek $55 billion for Africa over the next three years “across a wide range of sectors to tackle the key issues of our day,” said Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security advisor, in a statement before to the summit.
He said that the African Union’s own Agenda 2063, its program for sustainable development, will serve as the template.
In what we are doing at this conference, we are elevating African voices and African concerns, Sullivan told reporters.
The Biden administration, which has named China as its number-one global rival, aims to subtly contrast itself from Beijing at the summit rather than making strong points against it.
This will be about what we can provide. It will make a positive statement about the United States and its relationship with Africa, according to Sullivan.
We are bringing a considerable amount of resources to the table, he continued.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken welcomed African businesspeople to a reception on Monday night and stated that the United States was guided by the idea of partnership.
If we don’t cooperate, we can’t overcome any of the really difficult problems we face. So, instead of being about them, it’s about what we can achieve with African states and people, Blinken remarked.