United States President Joseph R. Biden Jr. will host South African President Cyril Ramaphosa at the White House on Friday, and both leaders will discuss a wide range of issues, including trade and investment, energy, climate and other global challenges, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at a press briefing on Thursday.
The White House meeting follows a phone call between Biden and Ramaphosa in April and the U.S.-South Africa Strategic Dialogue in August when United States Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken led nearly 50 U.S. government officials and experts to meet with their South African counterparts.
South Africa is one of the biggest U.S. trade partners in Africa. There are some 600 U.S. companies based in South Africa, and it is the number one destination for U.S. foreign direct investment on the continent, reaching $21 billion in 2021.
It was also in South Africa on August 8 that Blinken unveiled the new U.S. policy towards Sub-Saharan Africa focused on four main priorities.
Both countries have several cooperations, including in the health sector where the United States has provided over $8 billion in HIV/AIDS assistance since 2004. They also collaborate in the fight against climate change.
During her press briefing, White House Press Secretary Karine-Jean Pierre said that President Ramaphosa will also meet with Vice President Kamala Harris.
“President Biden looks forward to consulting with President Ramaphosa on a range of topics, including climate crisis, opportunities to increase trade and investment to benefit both South Africans and Americans, and other pressing global challenges,” she said.
She said that in addition, U.S. Vice President Kamala D. Harris will host President Ramaphosa for breakfast on Friday morning at the Naval Observatory where both leaders will discuss the U.S.-South African partnership on global health security, space cooperation, and other areas of bilateral engagement.
Asked whether both leaders will discuss Russia since South Africa was among many African nations who refused to take side in the war, Jean-Pierre decline to comment further.
“I don’t have any more specific to what I just laid out about the issues that they would be talking about. We will certainly share more in our readout, as we normally do when there’s a bilat. But I don’t have more to share outside of that,” she said.