By PEL Koroma, Washington, DC
President Julius Maada Bio has been selected by the Joseph R. Biden administration to be among the 20 African Head of States slated to speak at the three days U.S-Africa Leaders’ Summit slated for the 13th to the 15th of December 2022. Fifty African Heads of States will converge on the United States for the Summit.
The White House announced on November 19th, 2022, that President Joseph R. Biden will host the second U.S. – Africa Leaders’ Summit in 2022, as part of his administration’s commitment to revitalizing global partnerships and alliances to include Africa, based on the principles of mutual respect, shared interest and values.
The renewal of the United States engagement towards Africa was particularly manifested in President Biden’s virtual remarks on the occasion of the 34th Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly held in Addis Ababa, on February 5, 2021. The U.S. President underscored the United States “readiness to be Africa’s partner, in solidarity, support, and mutual respect and to re-engage with the Africa Union”.
The Africa Diplomatic corps (ADC) accredited to the United States has been actively advocating for an effective action and result oriented Summit that considers Africa’s development priorities as enshrined in the AU Agenda 2063 – ‘The Africa We Want’ and other various continental policy framework and strategies which captures the aspirations of the African people for a continent that is integrated, peaceful and prosperous that takes its rightful place in the international arena.
The Summit will discuss thematic issues, including Africa and Diaspora Young Leaders, Civil Society, The Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), Peace, Security and Governance, Conservation, Climate Adaptation and a Just Energy Transition, The Future of African Trade and Investment Relations with the United States, U.S. – Africa Partnership for Sustainable Energy Future, Public-Private Collaboration- Building a More Resilient and Secure African Health System, Digital Connectivity- Empowering the Next Generation of Inclusive Growth, Bridging the Gap- Expanding Access to Finance and Investing in Infrastructure to Bolster Africa’s Growth, and a Fireside Chat – Cultivating Partnership in Agribusiness.
The Sierra Leone delegation will have the opportunity to meet with 250 businesses from the United States and Africa.
The Spousal Program for the U.S. Africa Leaders’ Summit will be held on December 14 to 15, 2022 in Washington, DC. The First Lady of Sierra Leone Dr. Fatima Maada Bio will be hosted by First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, and the Spouses program will focus on supporting youth, particularly girls, to reach their full potential. The program will cover Why Investing in Young People Matters, Removing Barries to Healthcare Access, Empowering Youth and Promoting Equitable Food Access through Urban Garden, Using First Ladies Platforms in creating and advancing initiatives and bringing awareness to priority issues.