The U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit, which held from December 13-15 in Washington DC, highlighted the U.S. commitment to expanding and deepening our partnership with African countries, institutions, and people.
Below are some key takeaways:
Establishment of a New Diaspora Council: The President issued an executive order (EO) directing the Secretary of State to establish the President’s Advisory Council on African Diaspora Engagement in the United States (PAC-ADE). The PAC-ADE will deepen the dialogue between U.S. officials and the African Diaspora in the United States, as described in the U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa. The EO encourages efforts to advance equity and opportunity for the African Diaspora in the United States and strengthen cultural, social, political, and economic ties between African communities, the global African Diaspora, and the United States.
Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Expansion: Vice President Harris announced that the Administration plans to work with Congress to provide over $100 million toward YALI over multiple years to support innovative, diverse young African women and men to excel in a 21st century economy and catalyze transformational change in their communities, countries, and continent. The YALI expansion seeks to harness the support of the private sector, the Diaspora, and bilateral partners to facilitate networking, expand digital literacy, accelerate gender equality and women’s leadership, advance transparent governance, foster a vibrant civil society, and increase economic opportunities.
Travel to Africa: President Biden announced that he, Vice President Harris, the First Lady, the Second Gentleman, and several members of the Cabinet intend to travel to Africa in 2023, demonstrating our commitment to African countries and citizens.
Supporting African Resilience and Recovery: President Biden highlighted that his Administration is committed to working closely with Congress to lend up to $21 billion through the International Monetary Fund for low and middle-income countries, which will support African resilience and recovery efforts. The Biden-Harris Administration is also calling for all bilateral and relevant private creditors to provide meaningful debt relief so countries can regain their footing after years of extreme stress.
Memorandum of Understanding between the United States Government and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat: The United States Government and the AfCFTA Secretariat signed a Memorandum of Understanding to expand engagement to promote equitable, sustainable, and inclusive trade; boost competitiveness; and attract investment to the continent. Once fully implemented, the Agreement Establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area will create a combined continent-wide market of 1.3 billion people and $3.4 trillion, which would be the fifth-largest economy in the world.
The First Regional Multi-Sectoral Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compacts: MCC announced its first regional compacts, totaling $504 million, with the Governments of Benin and Niger, with additional contributions of $15 million from Benin and Niger. The compacts support regional economic integration, trade, and cross-border collaboration.
Since the start of the Biden-Harris Administration, MCC has also signed agreements with the Governments of The Gambia, Lesotho, and Malawi totaling $675 million. The agency is currently working in 14 African countries with more than $3.0 billion in active compact and threshold programs and approximately $2.5 billion in the pipeline. On Tuesday, MCC announced that The Gambia and Togo are eligible to develop their first compacts, Senegal is eligible to develop a concurrent regional compact, and Mauritania is eligible for a threshold program.
U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC): DFC announced $369 million in new investments across Africa in food security, renewable energy infrastructure, and health projects, including a $100 million transaction with Mirova SunFunder for the Mirova Gigaton Fund to support clean energy across Africa. DFC has more than $11 billion in commitments across Africa.
Technology and Innovation
The Initiative on Digital Transformation with Africa (DTA): At the U.S.-Africa Business Forum, President Biden launched the DTA, a new initiative to expand digital access and literacy across the continent. Working with Congress, this new initiative intends to invest over $350 million and facilitate over $450 million in financing for Africa, in line with the African Union’s Digital Transformation Strategy.
First African Countries to Sign the Artemis Accords: On December 13, Nigeria and Rwanda became the first African countries to sign the Artemis Accords, which facilitate collaboration and establish principles grounded in the 1967 Outer Space Treaty for safe, sustainable, and responsible exploration and use of outer space.
Investing in the Health Workforce to Build More Resilient Health Systems: As part of the Global Health Worker Initiative, the Administration plans to work with Congress to invest $1.33 billion annually from 2022 to 2024 in health workforce in the Africa region, for a total of at least $4 billion by Fiscal Year 2025, to help our African partners close the gap in health workers, including clinicians, community health and care workers, and public health professionals.
Partnering to Build Stronger Health Systems and Strengthen Global Health Security: Since the start of the Biden-Harris Administration, the United States has invested and committed to provide $782 million in global health security programs to work with partner countries in Africa to close major gaps outlined in their national action plans for health security and to build resilient health systems in critical technical areas. The United States announced $215 million in new funding to address the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa.
Partnership to Accelerate Regional Manufacturing: The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the President’s Malaria Initiative, and DFC also announced plans to accelerate regional manufacturing capacity for vaccines, tests, and therapeutics, including PEPFAR’s plans to procure 15 million HIV tests produced by African manufacturers by 2025 and to shift at least 2 million patients on HIV treatments to use African-made products by 2030.
Strengthening Food Security Partnerships and Responding to the Need for Emergency Food Security Assistance: The U.S. Government and the African Union announced a strategic partnership and joint statement focused on transformational investments for resilient food systems and diversified supply chain markets. In addition, President Biden announced $2 billion of new emergency humanitarian assistance for Africa, building on over $11 billion in recent announcements of food security assistance.
Support for Climate Adaptation and Resilience: At COP27 in Egypt, President Biden announced U.S. plans to work with Congress to provide over $150 million in new funding to address climate adaptation in Africa under the President’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience (PREPARE), supporting early warning systems, adaptation finance, climate risk insurance, and climate-resilient food systems. This investment will also galvanize global public and private investment in African clean energy infrastructure. This year, MCC’s compacts in Benin and Niger, Lesotho, and Malawi included over $150 million in new climate adaptation funding.
Democracy and Governance
African Democratic and Political Transitions (ADAPT): President Biden announced the new ADAPT initiative, which reaffirms the U.S. commitment to engage with complex political transitions in Africa and demonstrate U.S. Government support to governments and civil society at critical moments. Working with Congress, over three years, the Administration will invest $75 million for this initiative to counter democratic backsliding in partnership with regional bodies, governments, and civil society in support of durable political transitions.
Peace and Security
21st Century Partnership for African Security (21PAS): President Biden announced that his Administration is working with Congress to provide $100 million for a new partnership to incentivize and bolster African efforts to implement and sustain security sector capacity and reforms. This three-year pilot program is designed to allow the United States and African partners, including civil society, to sync, share, and support solutions to security challenges.
source: The White House
Tosan Aduayi writes from Mansfield Texas and attended the U.S-Africa Leaders’ Summit with a team from Axxess Technologies, Dallas, led by CEO, John Olajide.