By Elizabeth Osayande
The Senior Advisor for the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, National Security Council, Dana Banks, has reiterated that the summit, hosted by the US president, Joe Biden will look at Africa roles in collaboration with the US to addressing global challenges.
Banks, in the company of Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of African Affairs, Robert Scott, at a media briefing with journalists explained that the continent’s economies and populations were among the key players to addressing the challenges, as Africa leaders converge in US from December 13 to 15.
Her words: “President Biden has invited 49 African heads of state and the head of the AU to Washington for a three-day summit to really highlight how the U.S. and African nations are strengthening our partnerships to advance our shared priorities. The summit reflects the U.S. strategy towards Sub-Saharan Africa, which really emphasizes the critical importance of the region in meeting this era’s defining challenges.
“We expect some of the outcomes to be a deepened and expanded reflection of our long-term U.S.-Africa partnership while we advance our shared priorities. We aim to amplify African voices to collaboratively meet this era’s defining challenges, and really, while we leverage the best of America, including our government, our private sector, our civil society, our diaspora, to uplift and empower African institutions, citizens, and nations.
“The summit is really rooted in the recognition that Africa is a key geopolitical player, one that is shaping our present and will shape our future. As Secretary Blinken underscored when he traveled to the region earlier this year, Africa will shape not just the future of African people but of the world. President Biden believes that U.S. collaboration with African leaders as well as civil society, business, diaspora, women and youth leaders, is essential to tackling these shared challenges while seizing opportunities, including increasing sustainable food production; strengthening health systems and combating the COVID-19 pandemic while we prepare for future pandemics; responding to the escalating climate crisis; building a strong and inclusive global economy while providing life-saving humanitarian assistance; and strengthening global democratic norms, institutions, and the rule of law.
“With one of the world’s fastest-growing populations, largest free trade area, most diverse ecosystems, and one of the largest regional voting groups in the United Nations, African contributions, partnerships, and leadership are essential to meeting this era’s defining challenges.
“The continent’s dynamic economies and populations really do provide the foundation for a bright future for the continent and the United States.
“Lastly, I just would like to emphasize that we will focus on what we will do not only with African nations and peoples but what we – not only what we do for African nations and peoples but what we do with African nations and peoples.
“And a robust partnership between the United States and African nations is really vital to achieving our shared priorities, as I mentioned, whether it’s recovering from the pandemic and strengthening health systems, creating broad-based economic opportunity, addressing the climate crisis. expanding energy access, revitalizing democracies, or strengthening the free and open international order,” Banks added.