African presidents and dictators have started to arrive in Washington, DC to attend the US - Africa Summit convened by US President Joe Biden. Close to 50 African leaders are expected in this one of the largest ever gatherings of African leaders in Washington. The latest US - Africa Summit was held in Washington in 2014, convened by forrmer President Barack Obama. The focus will be the partnership of the US with Africa, the deteriorating situation in the Great Lakes of Africa due to the conflict between the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), democracy in Africa, and the rising influence of other world powers, especially China, in Africa.
The summit will be held starting Tuesday, December 13, 2022. According to the White House, "The Summit will demonstrate the United States’ enduring commitment to Africa, and will underscore the importance of U.S.-Africa relations and increased cooperation on shared global priorities.
Africa will shape the future — not just the future of the African people, but of the world. Africa will make the difference in tackling the most urgent challenges and seizing the opportunities we all face."
The summit is a followup on and builds on the foundation of the previous summit convened by former US President Barack Obama that was held from Monday, August 4, 2014 to Wednesday August 6, 2014. In the previous summit, President Obama highlighted the objective: "I do not see the countries and peoples of Africa as a world apart; I see Africa as a fundamental part of our interconnected world – partners with America on behalf of the future we want for all of our children. That partnership must be grounded in mutual responsibility and mutual respect." (see here: Barack Obama Convenes US-Africa Summit: Economy and Democracy to Dominate).
Like before, the summit happens as the US Government appears to remain frustrated by the slow democratic process in Africa and persistent insecurity in strategic parts of the continent ( see here: US - Summit for Democracy: African Dictators Excluded from 2021 Summit on Democracy)..
On the other hand, several Africans continue to complain of the lack of focused policy towards Africa and the continued support for African dictators by the US Government.
Although Africa has maintained its great strategic importance, especially as it has become the target of major world powers, beyond the US, especially China and Russia, two of the most significant economic and military adversaries of the US.
Based on the calendar of the events, African leaders will have an opportunity to engage with President Biiden, his Vice-President Kamala Harris, his Cabinet members, and other key leaders, including business executives from the U.S. and Africa, Members of Congress, and members of civil society.
What is Expected?
In the preparation of the Summit, President Joe Biden, who will meet the African leaders on Wednesday, December 14, 2022, signed an executive order establishing the President's Advisory Council on African Diaspora Engagement. The executive is critical as the African diaspora in US includes around 2 million African immigrants, well connected with millions of African American descendants of enslaved people with close connections to the continent.
Get the following books on Amazon:
Legs of Tornado: The Human Who Outran the Wind, an African tale about a human from a humble upbringing who outran the wind, defeated evil spirits, overcame his fate, became a respected clan chief, and triumphed ever after
Even Roosters Dream to Fly along with Legs of Tornado are also available on Amazon worldwide and soon to several other platforms:
For more on the book, the author, the inspiration of the stories, Visit the author website here
First, Mutual Economic Interests.
At a press briefing, US State Department spokesperson Edward "Ned" Price said the summit will focus on some issues of mutual interest with African countries.
According to Price "There are a number of opportunities that the US-Africa Leaders' Summit will present in the coming days. Some of them have to do with peace and security on the continent."
He added that the US wants " true, genuine partnership with the countries of Africa, a partnership that will allow us to unlock the potential, whether it's through trade and investment, whether it's through people-to-people ties, whether it's through deepening diplomatic initiatives to advance our interests and the interests of the countries on the continent."
Africa: World Most Strategic Potentials and Opportunities.
With its potentials, including a high population growth and immense natural and mineral resources, Africa has become the focus of the world. About 60% of Africa's population is under 25, with the young population growing to 80% by 2050. Hence, on Tuesday, December 13, 2022 Vice-President Kamala Harris reminded that all these potentials increase the necessity to strategically focus.
Addressing the forum of young leaders on December 13, 2022, Vice-President Kamala Harris said: “This represents an enormous potential for the world in terms of economic growth, and for social and political progress..I strongly believe that the creativity and ingenuity of Africa’s young leaders will help shape the future. And that their ideas, your ideas, innovation and initiatives will benefit the entire world."
Hence, the White House announced that President Joe Biden supports for the African Union becoming a permanent member of the Group of 20 nations.
Amb. Johnnie Carson, a veteran diplomat with decades of experience on the African continent, was appointed the top advisorr for implementing the African directed initiatives.
On Tuesday December 13, 2022, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met with the presidents of Djibouti, Niger and Somalia, and Angola. Angola is an oil-rich country, which has been developping economic relations with China, leading to vast Chinese investments, including a potential naval base.
Difference between US and China: Democracy and Pragmatism.
For China, it is all about business and natural resources; democracy could wait. For the US, all go together. To prove the point, four African countries, Mali, Burkina Faso, Sudan and Guinea were not invited, whereas Zimbabwe has been invited for the first time, but its president can't attend because of travel restrictions
Also, as African leaders arrived in the US, sanctions on Zimbabwe were under review. President Emmerson Mnangagwa's son, Emmerson Mnangagwa junior, and Sandra Mpunga, the wife of Zimbabwean oligarch, Kudakwashe Tagwirei, were added to the sanctions list of 2020.
On December 12, 2022, U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) "designated Sandra Mpunga, Nqobile Magwizi, Fossil Agro, Fossil Contracting, and Obey Chimuka, for their ties to the previously designated individual Kudakwashe Tagwirei and his company, Sakunda Holdings."
Mnangagwa could not travel to the US because the sanctions imposed on him only allow him to set foot in the US on UN business and even then, he cannot travel beyond a 40km radius to the UN. He is being represented by Foreign Affairs Minister Fredrick Shava.
It is also expected that the issue of some African dictators and their oligarchy holding onto power and oppressing their population will be addressed.
Hence observers and African opposition leaders continue to criticize the US double measured approach to democracy in Africa. For example, some have been wondering and continue to wonderr why dictators such as Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, General Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Paul Biya of Cameroon, Sassou Nguesso of the Republic of Congo, and Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, the world’s longest-serving autocrat ruling Equatorial Guinea, were invited at all.
Others also wondered why the US has not fully and wholeheartly supported the DRC President Felix Tshisekedi to fight off the invasion by Rwandan troops under the cover of M23 rebels.
However, other observers and analysts said that they understand the approach from the US government. For example, regarding Angola, Equatorial Guinea, and DRC, the US government has prioritized spoiling China’s influence and ambitions, including military foothold in tose countries.
US for DRC's Felix Tshisekedi Against Rwanda's Paul Kagame, but African Leaders Must Solve Their Own Problems
Like the former President Obama, President Joe Biden, although convening the summit, is clear about how he views the cooperation between the US and Africa. The view has been highlighed by the way the conflict between DRC and Rwanda has been handled: in the end, it is up to African leaders to clean up their houses, before seeking help from outside.
In fact both DRC President Felix Tshisekedi and Rwandan President Paul Kagame are attending the summit, while the African Great Lakes region is under fire, following the attacks by Rwandan Troops under the cover of M23 rebels (see here DR Congo: David Karambi, Top Leader of Congolese Tutsis Warns Rwandan Dictator Paul Kagame Against Invading DRC in a Press Conference).
According to US State Department spokesperson Edward "Ned" Price, the tensions between the DRC and Rwanda is at the top of the agenda, because, " this is a conflict and a set of tensions that Secretary [Antony] Blinken has become personally invested in - [he] travelled to Rwanda and the DRC in August as tensions were flaring in an effort to engage the leaders of both countries, to urge a de-escalation and to urge steps that would put an end to these hostilities."
However, most wonder what will follow the Summit.
What is clear is that President Joe Biden has appeared to lean on the side of President Felix Tshisekedi than with the Rwandan oligarch Paul Kagame. This was shown in the picture showcased on the US State Department Website page of the US-Africa Summit in which President Joe Biden appears only with DRC President Felix Tshisekedi, the way he did in Rome during the 2021 G20 Summit (see Rome, Italy: Rwandan Dictator Paul Kagame Avoided by Key World Leaders During 2021 G20 Summit).
Based on comments from analysis and observers, the 2022 US-Africa Summit, like the one in 2014, should remind African leaders and Africans in general the need to maintain reasonable expectations and always realize that, first and foremost, for the President of the United States of America, USA's interests come first. Hence African leaders and africans in general need to work with the USA leaders and people to achieve their own interests and find a common ground.
For example, when necessary the US took actions, like during the 2021 Summit on Democracy ( see here: US - Summit for Democracy: African Dictators Excluded from 2021 Summit on Democracy).
That is how, perhaps, the expectations of the summit would be achieved.
For more on DRC-Rwanda conflict see here:
AroniSmartIntelligence, the leading tool for Advanced Analytics, Machine Learning & Data Science
Statisticians, Data Scientists, Business and Financial Analysts, Savvy Investors, Engineers, Researchers, Students, Teachers, Economists, Political Analysts, and most of the practitioners use Advanced Analytics to answer questions, to support informed decision making or to learn.
AroniSmartIntelligence™ is a leading Advanced Analytics, Machine Learning and Data Science tool, with optimized cutting edge Statistics models, Econometrics, Big Data and Text Analytics.
AronismartIntelligence™ includes modules covering Machine Learning and Big Data mining, Unstructured Text Analysis, Sentiment and Emotion Analytics, Bayesian Statistics and other advanced analytics.
AroniSmartIntelligence™: Optimized Machine Learning, Advanced Analytics, and Data Science Capabilities Including Econometrics, Bayesian Models, Neural Network Models, Marketing Mix Models, and NLP Analytics
©2022 AfroAmerica Network