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Biden hails US-Africa strategic partnership

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The United States President Joe Biden has said Africa’s success and prosperity are essential to a better future for the world.

He spoke on Wednesday at the U.S.-Africa Business Forum in Washington, D.C.

Biden, who was addressing heads of state, leaders of regional and global institutions and representatives of more than 300 companies, said the forum was about building connections, closing deals and ensuring a shared future.

“We’ve known for a long time that Africa’s success and prosperity is essential to ensuring a better future for all of us, not just for Africa.

“I’ve been engaged in these issues going back to my days as a young man in the United States Senate. When I was on the Foreign Relations Committee, I was chairman of the African Affairs subcommittee and got to spend a lot of time in Africa. I’ve visited almost all of your countries.

“When I was Vice President, serving with President Obama, we hosted the first U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, including U.S.-Africa Business Forum.

“We saw so clearly the enormous potential that we could harness if we did it together. And holding the first-of-its-kind summit in 2014 was a watershed moment to cement new kinds of partnerships between our nations, partnerships not to create political obligation, not — or foster dependence — its dependence, but to spur shared success — I emphasize “shared success” — and opportunity. Because when Africa succeeds, the United States succeeds; quite frankly, the whole world succeeds as well.”

He added that eight years after the first summit, the world has undergone many changes.

“We’re still grappling with a deadly pandemic, facing down war and instability, addressing economic challenges of — with global impact, fighting — fighting rising food prices, tackling the impacts of climate change.

“And each of these crises has only heightened — heightened the vital role African nations and peoples play to address the global challenges that drive our global progress,” he said.

Biden said these challenges cannot be solved without African leadership at the table.

“I’m not trying to be nice; that’s a fact — African ideas and innovation helping to shape the solutions and Africa population contributing to every step.

“So the only question when I took office was not if we’d host another U.S.-African Leadership Summit, but when,” he said.

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