One Year After the Africa/United States Summit, the White House Celebrates “Record” Trade Agreements

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One year ago, on December 13, 2022, the United States launched a major summit in Washington with African heads of state increasingly drawn to China. Over three days, numerous topics were discussed, and commitments were made. On the occasion of this anniversary, the U.S. administration is providing an initial assessment.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken had stated at the end of the summit that the toughest part was just beginning, and it would be necessary to see how American commitments would be upheld over time. One year later, Judd Devermont, the Senior Director for African Affairs at the U.S. National Security Council, sees a lot of positives, reports our correspondent in Washington, Guillaume Naudin.

The Biden administration had committed to promoting massive investments in Africa: $55 billion over three years. After one year, in December 2023, 40% of this commitment has already been realized, and the goal is to reach 70% next year.

“Record” Trade Agreements with the African Continent

The White House announced on December 13 that it had concluded “record” trade agreements with Africa this year, totaling $14.2 billion. Nearly 550 new trade and investment agreements were signed, representing a 67% increase in both number and value compared to 2022, according to British Robinson, coordinator of the U.S. “Prosper Africa” trade initiative.

“We have experienced a record year for U.S.-Africa relations,” emphasized Judd Devermont during an online White House press conference one year after a summit with African leaders, during which President Joe Biden pledged to “go all-in” on the continent.

Giving More Voice to African Perspectives

Another goal was to help African voices be heard. The African Union now has a seat at the G20 table. The United States also strives to rely on regional organizations, such as the ECOWAS in Niger. This did not prevent what Washington took a long time to call a coup. And the ousted president, Mohammed Bazoum, widely promoted during the summit as an exemplary partner, remains in custody.

Lastly, Judd Devermont applauded the 17 visits by senior U.S. officials to Africa over the past year. However, one visit did not take place: the one announced by Joe Biden on the continent this year. Nevertheless, this unfulfilled promise should not cast doubt on America’s commitment to Africa, assures his advisor.

Soukaina Sghir

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