Dozens of African leaders and delegates from Nigeria, Egypt,South Africa, Senegal, Ghana and others have gathered in the Washington DC on the invitation of President Biden for the on-going three-day U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. The last time such a gathering took place was in 2014 on the invitation of former President Barrack Obama. African leaders are now familiar with these pilgrimages to the global powerful capitals for meetings and consultations. They have travelled to China, Russia, European Union and Turkey. But they are yet to explain to their citizens the advantages and beneficits of their expensive traveling or their leisure vacations to these exciting parts of the world.
They said that the benefits for Washington summit will be in Improving trade and commerce which “will feature highly, with many African countries seeking a renewal and expansion of the U.S. African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which expires in 2025. The act allows access to the U.S. market under conditions, and has become an important part of economic growth in countries like Ethiopia. The U.S. blocked the East African country’s access to the AGOA this year following the Ethiopian government’s civil war with the northern Tigray region. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, in Washington, D.C., for the summit, will hold talks with Blinken and access to U.S. markets could be discussed.”
“In numerous briefings, U.S. officials said the administration would seek new trade opportunities and closer cooperation on fighting terrorism and strengthening democracy, but offered few details on what signature aims they were hoping for. Whether any major policy emerges from the summit remains to be seen.”
“President Biden is expected to give speeches on Wednesday and Thursday, and he and Jill Biden, the first lady, are scheduled to host the heads of the delegations at dinner on Wednesday night. The Biden administration is trying to repair relations with African nations after President Donald J. Trump largely ignored them and famously disparaged some in a White House meeting in 2018.”
“American officials are concerned about Chinese and Russian influence on the continent, as well as instability caused by famine, climate change, epidemics and wars. U.S. officials say they also want to help African countries create economic opportunities for their growing youth populations. And at a forum on Tuesday on outer space, Nigeria and Rwanda became the first African nations to sign onto the Artemis Accords, an agreement that aims to establish guidelines for space exploration.”
Summit via zooming and video Meeting
The journey and its preparations by these African leaders travelling to these global capital centers are very expensive. Huge resources and time are allotted to these journeys including millions of dollars needed to fly to these places together with feeding and hotel expenses.
When zooming and video meetings are used, the resources spent on the travelling will be used to alleviate areas of need in Africa. The money can be used to build modern hospitals in rural and remote areas to tackle malaria and tropical ailments. These resources can be utilized to erect modern tap water in the areas where they are urgently needed. In the era of modern 21st century technology, African leaders cannot afford to be oblivious to it.