Biden Calls For African Union To Join G20

At the US-Africa Summit in Washington, US Pres. Joe Biden on Thursday announced support for the African Union (AU), which represents one of the world's fastest-growing regions, to become a permanent member of the G20 group of major economies.

Biden Calls For African Union To Join G20
Image credit: Alex Brandon/AP [via CNN]

Facts

  • At the US-Africa Summit in Washington, US Pres. Joe Biden on Thursday announced support for the African Union (AU), which represents one of the world's fastest-growing regions, to become a permanent member of the G20 group of major economies.
  • Noting that African leadership and innovation are critical in tackling some of the world's biggest problems, Biden also advocated Washington's support for reforming the UN Security Council to allow for an African representative.
  • Biden also pledged $2B to strengthen food security and $165M to support peaceful and credible elections in Africa in 2023. Earlier this week, the US president had outlined Washington's plans for spending $55B over the next three years on government programs in the continent.
  • On Wednesday, Biden met with the presidents of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Gabon, Liberia, Madagascar, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone to discuss their countries' 2023 elections, reportedly to promote democracy and good governance in Africa.
  • During the first US-Africa summit since 2014, Biden also announced his intention to visit several African countries next year during his first presidential visit to the continent. Several Cabinet members, VP Kamala Harris, and First Lady Jill Biden are also set to visit Africa, Biden said on Thursday.
  • The US president hosted the three-day US-Africa Leaders Summit, which kicked off Tuesday with delegations from 49 African countries and the AU. The major gathering was intended to underscore Washington's view that "Africa will shape the future" as a "key geopolitical player."

Sources: Reuters, Al Jazeera, Associated Press, White House, Washington Post, and State.

Narratives

  • Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by CNN. It was a strategic mistake on Washington's part to neglect Africa in recent years. This allowed rivals like China and Russia to steadily deepen their ties with the continent. During the summit, the US seized the opportunity to regain some ground. The investments promised by Washington and the support for the AU joining the G20 are significant and long-overdue steps in the right direction.
  • Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by Global Times. Though Washington pretends that it wants to close the growing trust gap between the US and Africa, the Biden admin. still sees Africa merely as a pawn in its strategic goal of competing with China and Russia. However, African leaders have long known that the US isn't concerned with cooperation for mutual benefit. Africa is unlikely to actually benefit from the summit in a meaningful way.