February 7, 2023

U.S. will commit $55 billion to Africa over the next three years and appoint Johnnie Carson as special representative for U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit implementation

Joe Biden, Johnnie Carson and Jake Sullivan
Joe Biden, Johnnie Carson and Jake Sullivan

President Joseph R. Biden Jr. will announce this week that the United States will commit $55 billion to Africa over the next three years and appoint Ambassador Johnnie Carson as special representative for U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit implementation.

“Working closely with Congress, the U.S. will commit $55 billion to Africa over the course of the next three years across a wide range of sectors to tackle the core challenges of our time,” Jake Sullivan told reporters at the White House on Monday while previewing the U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit starting on Tuesday and ending on Thursday. “These commitments build on the United States’ longstanding leadership and partnership in develop- — development, economic growth, health, and security in Africa over the past three decades.”

Sullivan also announced that the State Department plans to appoint Ambassador Johnnie Carson as special representative for U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit implementation, noting that he “is very well known to people across the continent of Africa.”

“He brings a wealth of experience to the position, having dedicated his 37-year career to diplomacy in Africa, and we are looking forward to working with him to ensure that the announcements that get made over the next three days are translated into durable actions that last well beyond the summit,” added Sullivan.

According to Sullivan, the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, a three-day summit hosted by President Biden, “is rooted in the recognition that Africa is a key geopolitical player.  The continent will shape the future not just of the African people but also the world.”

 “President Biden believes that U.S. collaboration with African leaders, as well as with civil society and business leaders and the diaspora, women, youth, is essential to unlocking the potential of this decisive decade,” he said.

He said delegations from all 49 invited African countries and the African Union will attend, alongside members of civil society and the private sector. 

He added that President Biden, Vice President Kamala D. Harris, and members of the Cabinet will have extensive engagement with leaders throughout the summit, and that a number of announcements will be made over the coming days.

“Specific deliverables in a number of different areas, new projects and initiatives, new funding streams,” he said. “But our commitment to Africa extends well beyond all of that too.  It’s reflected in our decades of meaningful engagement, people-to-people ties, and high-quality investments in our shared future.”

The summit kicks off on Tuesday with the “vital role of civil society and the strength of our African diaspora communities in the United States.  It will feature of a range of sessions on topics from trade and investment, to health and climate, to peace, security, and governance, to space cooperation,” Sullivan said.

He added, “On Wednesday, the focus will be on increasing two-way trade and investment at the U.S.-Africa Business Forum.  CEOs and private sector leadership from over 300 American and African companies will convene with the heads of delegation to catalyze investment in critical sectors, including health, infrastructure, energy, agribusiness, and digital. 

“The President will close the Business Forum on Wednesday with public remarks.  Later in the day, he will host a small group of leaders at the White House for a discussion on upcoming presidential elections in 2023 in Africa and U.S. support for free, fair, and credible polls across the continent. 

“He will then host, Wednesday evening, all 50 heads of delegation and their spouses for a dinner here at the White House.

“Thursday is dedicated to high-level discussions among leaders, with President Biden opening the day with a session on partnering on Agenda 2063, the African Union’s strategic vision for the continent. 

“A working lunch by Vice President Harris will follow that session.  And then the President will close the day with a discussion on food security and food systems resilience, which, as you all know, is a critical issue for our African partners, who have been disproportionately impacted by the rise in food and fertilizer prices and disruptions to global supply chains as a result of Russia’s war against Ukraine. 

“Throughout the next three days and then beyond the next three days, we look forward to leveraging the best of America — a truly unrivaled set of tools across our government, our private sector, and civil society — to partner with and support African institutions, African citizens, and African nations to advance our shared goals.”

According to Sullivan, President Biden’s foreign policy achievements have been remarkable.

“From the Quad Summit in Tokyo to the historic NATO Summit in Madrid; to consequential G7 and G20 summits at critical geopolitical moments; to hosting, in separate summits, the leaders of the Americas, the Pacific Islands, ASEAN, and now, of course, the leaders of Africa, this year has marked one of the most high-paced, substantive periods of presidential engagement in foreign policy in recent history.  And it’s a profound demonstration of the President’s approach to the world and a powerful expression of the ways in which a broad and diverse community of nations are working together to solve our shared challenges,” he said.

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