ONE’s expectations ahead of Biden’s US Africa Leaders’ Summit

Joe Biden
Joe Biden

The US-Africa Leaders’ Summit takes place in Washington, DC, from December 13 to 15 2022. With 49 African leaders invited, the meeting is due to cover multiple aspects of the relationship between the United States of America and Africa, including economic engagement, food security, education, health and climate-related issues while placing an even greater emphasis on bilateral trade and investment initiatives.

This meeting follows shortly after the recently released US Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa, which was a demonstration of the Biden administration’s pledge to the African continent and offers a forum for new dual initiatives between the United States and countries in Africa.

The ONE Campaign recognises the Summit as a significant opportunity for the US to reaffirm its promise to Africa and increase cooperation to tackle the continents’ greatest global challenges. As the continent recovers from the effects of the CoVID-19 pandemic, the Summit should focus on creating strategic initiatives that will stimulate economic growth, create jobs, and create resiliency in an era of polycrisis. This includes addressing the challenges around debt, strengthening global health security, and measures to address the spiraling food crisis and environmental shocks.  

The ONE Campaign is calling on the Biden administration to show leadership on the world stage and commit to the following priority actions that are critical for driving economic prosperity in the continent:   

Encourage private sector investments through the Development Finance Corporation that are focused on growth in Africa – Over 1 billion Africans are under the age of 25, and by 2030, Africa’s youth will represent 42% of the global youth population. Africa needs about 15 million new decent jobs every year to harness its demographic dividend, and when asked, African citizens’ greatest priority is Sustainable Development Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth. It’s imperative that a US-Africa partnership create investments that will tap into the booming potential of Africa’s youth, in turn creating growth, stability, and prosperity.

Elevate Africa’s food crisis on a global stage – Rising prices, environmental shocks and Russia’s war in Ukraine have exacerbated an already dangerous and growing food crisis in the Horn of Africa. The United Nations $1.5 billion response plan to avert famine in Somalia is only two-thirds funded.

While the Biden administration has allocated $870 million to help fight this crisis, this only totalling to half of all humanitarian funding committed to Somalia, it will take the voice of the US leadership to get wealthy countries to step up and pay attention to this crisis. 
Multilateral Development Banks Optimization – Modernize the multilateral development banks, like the World Bank, so that they are more efficient with the resources they have and can leverage up to $1 trillion in new lending without putting their triple A credit rating at risk. 

The Summit encapsulates US and Africa’s common aspirations for long term partnership and the great potential of such cooperation in boosting common goals, interests and Africa’s economic growth and development.

By broadening and deepening the partnership in a plethora of fields, including non-traditional domains that have not been sufficiently explored before, the US and Africa would reap substantial common dividends. Such renewed engagement will also pave the way for a breakout of international competition over resources towards wider horizons of collaboration and common interests.


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