U.S. President Joe Biden has called on the African Union to join the G20 as a Permanent Member of the G20, saying it’s been a long time in coming, but it is going to come.
Biden made the call on Thursday at“ Partnering on Agenda 2063:Leaders Session’’ at the 3-day U.S.- Africa Leaders Summit in Washington D.C.
President Muhammadu Buhari and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama and other top Nigerian officials attended the session.
He said the U.S. had in September, at the United Nations General Assembly, supported reforming the UN Security Council to include permanent representation for Africa.
Biden said the U.S. would be supporting the leaders to implement its development agenda, saying with the African Unions Agenda 2063, our eyes are fixed squarely on the future.
“The United States is all in on Africa and all in with Africa.
“African voices, African leadership, African innovation all are critical to addressing the most pressing global challenges and to realizing the vision we all share: a world that is free, a world that is open, prosperous, and secure.
“Africa belongs at the table in every room — in every room where global challenges are being discussed and in every institution where discussions are taking place,’’ he said.
The U.S. leader said that he would be visiting some countries in Africa during his presidency, expressing appreciation to the leaders for attending the summit.
“I’m grateful that all of you have made the journey to Washington for this summit, and I’m eager to visit your continent.
“I’m looking forward to seeing many of you in your home countries.”
The president added that there would also be visits from other officials, including Vice President Harris, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and first lady Jill Biden, among others.
“Promise you’ll send them back. I need them. They all want to go, but I’m worried they won’t come home,” Biden said.
“All kidding aside, we’re all going to be seeing you and you’re going to see a lot of us, because we’re deadly earnest and serious about this endeavor.”
Biden has visited Europe and Asia, which included a quick stop in Egypt, since becoming president, but an extended trip to Africa would be his first to the continent.
Presidents George H.W. Bush, Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama all visited Africa during their tenures.
The U.S. is hosting the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit for the first time since 2014.
The summit in Washington includes 50 leaders from Africa and seeks to bolster future relations with the continent.
Biden discussed with leaders on Thursday some deliverables out of the summit, including that he will name Ambassador Johnnie Carson, who has held ambassadorships to Kenya, Zimbabwe, and Uganda, to be the new special representative for U.S. Africa Leaders Summit implementation.
The U.S. is also committing $55 billion dollars to Africa over the next three years.
This includes $350 million dollars to facilitate Africa’s participation in the digital economy and $75 million dollars to strengthen transparent governance, facilitate voter registration and support constitutional reform.