In the front line of major international crises for several years (climate, Covid-19, etc.), Africa suffers from a lack of voice in major international bodies. On the eve of the USA-Africa summit, Washington wants to change the situation, particularly within the G-20.
The United States will officially support the admission of the African Union (AU) into the G-20. On December 9, 2022, White House adviser Judd Devermont indicated that President Biden will announce the decision during the US-Africa Summit next week.
“It is high time for Africa to have permanent seats at the table of international organizations and initiatives. We need more African voices in international conversations that concern the global economy, democracy and governance, climate change, health and security,” said Judd Devermont quoted by the Washington Post.
According to the American authorities, this announcement demonstrates a desire to strengthen relations with an African continent relegated to the background under the Donald Trump administration. It also comes in response to recent criticism from African countries regarding their lack of permanent representation within major international bodies, even though the continent has generally been at the forefront of major international crises for several years.
To this end, South Africa (the only African member of the G-20) and the AU presented a joint plea for obtaining a seat for the African organization within this body which brings together the largest global economies.
In the midst of an economic revolution, Africa is at the heart of a rivalry between Western countries and China, which has become the main economic partner of the continent. To try to catch up, the United States has launched a new initiative, Prosper Africa, which aims to boost investment by American companies on the continent.
Like France, the United Kingdom or Germany, Washington believes that it is offering a fairer form of aid than that of Beijing, which is accused of locking the countries of the continent into a debt trap, or even better than that of Russia, which has begun to extend its influence in Central and West Africa in particular.
Note that the USA-Africa summit will be the first for 8 years. The last edition took place under the mandate of former President Barack Obama.