July 14, 2024

How the U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit will deepen U.S. partnerships with Nigeria and other African democracies

President Joe Biden, President Muhammadu Buhari and U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria Mary Beth Leonard
President Joe Biden, President Muhammadu Buhari and U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria Mary Beth Leonard

President Joseph R. Biden Jr. has invited 49 African heads of state and the head of the African Union to Washington, D.C. for a three-day U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit December 13-15.

The goal of the historic summit will be to build and expand vital political, economic, and strategic partnerships, as well as people-to-people dialogue, based on mutual interests and shared priorities in Africa.

It comes just months after Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken unveiled the U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa.

The summit’s agenda will be packed, including increasing sustainable food production, strengthening health systems, providing humanitarian assistance, responding to the climate crisis, reinforcing democracy and human rights, boosting U.S.-African trade, advancing peace and security, and even enhancing space research and cooperation.

“President Biden believes that U.S. collaboration with African leaders, as well as civil society, business, diaspora, women, and youth leaders, is essential to addressing these shared challenges,” the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria said.

According to U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria Mary Beth Leonard, the upcoming summit presents opportunities to deepen U.S.-Nigeria bilateral ties on multiple levels. “We look forward not only to the Nigerian government’s robust participation in the summit, but also to hearing the views of all stakeholders in Nigeria’s promising future, including independent voices from the private sector, civil society, young people, women, and all those who are working to build a strong and inclusive democracy.”

The summit is also an opportunity for the United States and the American people to reiterate their profound and enduring interest in engaging with Africa as a whole. As Secretary of State Blinken noted during his trips to Nigeria last year and to other countries in the region earlier this year, Africa’s demographic growth and economic potential will shape not just the future of its people, it will also shape the world. 

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