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US-Africa Leaders Summit Set - Advisors

FILE: U.S. President Joe Biden greets South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington. Taken September 16, 2022.

Senior U.S. officials say President Joe Biden’s meeting next month with African leaders will amplify African voices in tackling this era’s defining challenges, such as deepening food insecurity and climate crisis.

U.S. policy makers say the meeting confirms Africa as a key geopolitical player and will promote growing partnerships with the Washington.

Biden has invited 49 Africa heads of state and the chairman of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki, for the three-day summit in Washington, December 13-15.

National Security Council senior advisor for the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit Dana Banks shared more details with reporters in Washington about the upcoming summit’s agenda to strengthen U.S.-Africa relations.

"The summit reflects the U.S. strategy towards Sub-Saharan Africa, which really emphasizes the critical importance of the region in meeting this era’s defining challenges." Banks said.

She said the summit is rooted in the recognition that Africa is a key geopolitical player, one that is shaping the present and would shape the future.

The leaders’ summit follows U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s trip to Africa in August, where he visited South Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda

Biden administration officials say the outcomes from the summit in December are expected to deepen the long-term U.S.-Africa partnership while advancing shared priorities.

Analysts say strengthening health systems and creating economic opportunities for women and youth, as well as addressing the climate crisis will feature prominently in the forthcoming discussions.

With most African nations recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. officials say African countries need to be better prepared for health emergencies.

Robert Scott, deputy assistant Secretary of State for the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of African Affairs said Africa’s contributions, partnerships and leadership were essential.

"You’re looking at a continent – fastest-growing population, largest free trade area, largest voting bloc in the United Nations. So, issues that affect the globe are in large part going to be solved through the involvement of African governments and populations," Scott said.

The U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit was first held in 2014 under U.S. President Barack Obama. Leaders from 50 Africa nations were in attendance for the 3-day summit that focused on trade and investment.

Editor's note: This story was updated to correctly include the African Union Commission chair to the list invited attendees.