The Biden administration’s three-day gathering is bringing in leaders from 49 African nations and the African Union for high-level talks.
During the discussion, Somalia’s president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, spoke about how the terrorist group, al-Shabaab, controlled large portions of Somalia’s rural areas.
U.S. officials, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, met with several key African leaders at Tuesday’s U.S.-Africa Summit to discuss peace, security and governance issues.
African Union Commission Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat said the US is providing bilateral assistance to many African countries, including Niger, Mozambique, Somalia and Chad. However, he said the African armed forces were still poorly equipped.
“No one is listening to Africa’s cries for the escalation of this scourge,” he said.
The government is inviting business leaders and dignitaries to a not-so-subtle pitch this week to compete with China on the continent. The aim is to convince its guests that the U.S. offers a better option to African partners.
“We want to understand what`s really important to you,” said U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
“We want to make sure that we are doing the things to develop and empower your security forces and help you work on your security architecture in ways that you think benefit you, and that certainly will promote regional stability.”
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan on Monday said the administration would commit to spending $55 billion in Africa over the next three years on “a wide range of sectors to tackle the core challenges of our time.