The President of the United States, Joe Biden has said that the U.S. government will support the African continent with over $55 billion to support health and climate adaptation.
By Demba Ndiath
Africa has always been a source of great greed for the rest of the world. Thus, after the China-Africa, France-Africa, Russia-Africa Turkey-Africa summits among others, the United States is again interested in the continent.
It must be said that the global context is not to be dissociated from a specific form of covetousness or even competition for charm vis-à-vis this continent which still abounds in significant natural and human resources, despite centuries of operation.
In addition, the demographic prospects marked by a dynamic youth, the engine of a booming economy, make Africa one of the most important future markets in terms of size and economic potential.
More than sixty per cent of the African population is under 25 years old. This equates to 850 million young Africans, a figure that could reach more than 1.2 billion people by 2050.
And according to Anthony Blinken, head of American diplomacy, by 2030, two out of five people will be Africans.
It is in this context that the second edition of the ‘USA-Africa leaders summit 2022’ is being held in Washington. From December 13 to 15, 2022.
Unlike the first edition, organized under the Obama administration in 2014, which brought together 50 of the 54 African heads of state, this year only 49 heads of state were invited by the Biden administration.
On the official summit page, a quote from the US president sets the stage for this high-level meeting: ‘”I look forward to working with African governments, civil society, diaspora communities across the United States and the private sector to continue to strengthen our shared vision for the future of U.S.-Africa relations.”
Between panels, discussions, meetings of young leaders from the continent and the diaspora, and bilateral meetings with American authorities, a busy program awaits African leaders during this summit.
Discussions will revolve around issues related to health, safety, financing, renewable energies, new technologies, sport and entrepreneurship among other topics.
Among the commitments made by the US administration during this summit, we can mention:
- A promise of 55 billion dollars of investment over five years.
-More than 1 billion dollars dedicated to education and youth within two years through programs focused on science, new technologies and the extension of the YALI program (Young African leaders initiative). The latter, which began in 2010, allows young Africans to come to the United States for six weeks to study at American universities.
According to Vice President Kamala Harris, more than 640,000 people have participated in this program, creating an important network of young African leaders on the continent with regional centres in Senegal, Ghana and South Africa.
-The launch of a program called the African Women’s Trade and Investment Initiative.
-The signing of a presidential executive order for the creation of a President’s Advisory Council on African Diaspora Engagement in the United States
- The establishment of an African continental free trade area for a market of around 1.3 billion people
The signing of a Millenium challenge corporation now M.C.C. in favour of Benin and Niger for an investment of 500 million dollars for the construction of road infrastructure.
Funding of $370 million for innovative projects, including $100 million for renewable energy projects in sub-Saharan Africa, and $20 million to finance the purchase of fertilizer for farmers. And a $10 million fund for small and medium enterprises.
-The launch of a new initiative for the digital transformation of Africa with funding of 500 million dollars.
In addition to the commitments made by the Biden administration, private American companies have also signed financing and partnership agreements with African companies.
Among these agreements we can cite:
-An agreement of 800 million dollars between Cisco Systems, an American company and Cy-Sebastian, a company run by nationals of the African diaspora.
-A billion-dollar investment project planned over five years in the field of mobile payment planned by the multinational Visa.
-And finally an investment of 80 million dollars in the field of health financed by General Electric and Standard Bank.
In total, more than 15 billion dollars of investment will be invested in the continent over the next few years, through what President Biden calls ‘The new deal’ or ‘The biggest deal of all’ that is to say the greatest agreement of all, in reference to the agreements of other powers.
In conclusion, all these promises of financial commitments once again testify to the appetite that Africa arouses and its importance for the Western powers, because of these multiple riches.
However, will Africa be able to organize itself in order to take advantage of all these agreements mentioned earlier in order to lift its population out of poverty and offer its youth better prospects for the future through the creation of a real chain valuable?
More specifically, will the allocated funds contribute to the economy’s development through the transformation of its raw materials instead of the export of raw natural resources?