Joel C. Brooks /
Despite his ‘Long Stay’ out of the country, a situation that has created mixed reactions from the public, the Liberian leader is about now amongst dozens of his colleagues from around the continent of Africa at the much talked about US-Africa Leaders’ Summit organized by the President of the United States, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.
The Liberian leader, likewise his fellow African leaders, is expected to attentively listen to the U.S. President during the official opening of the summit, as many of his kinsmen back home and abroad are eagerly expecting to see his input gear towards the growth and development of his home country, Liberia.
As President Weah and his entourage form part of this historic occasion, many Liberians at home and abroad are hoping his participation will help to yield some of the much-desired fruits the country is craving. Many are hoping this will not be only about posing for photos with the conference host.
The overview of the summit, according to the U.S. Department of State, beginning on Tuesday, December 13, 2022 will feature below schedule:
- 7:00-4:30pm:African and Diaspora Young Leaders Forum
- 8:00-2:30pm: Civil Society Forum
- 8:30-12:30pm: African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Trade Ministerial
- 9:00-10:30: U.S. Africa Space Forum
- 12:30-2:30pm: Peace, Security, and Governance Forum
- 12:30-2:30pm: Partnering for Sustainable Health Cooperation
- 3:00-5:30pm: Conservation, Climate Adaptation, and a Just Energy Transition
On Wednesday, December 14, the day two of the summit will highlight
7:50 AM – 2:00 PM: U.S.-Africa Business Forum, consisting of:
- USABF – Charting the Course: The Future of U.S.-Africa Trade & Investment Relations
- USABF – Building a Sustainable Future: Partnerships to Finance African Infrastructure and the Energy Transition
- USABF – Growing Agribusiness: Partnerships to Strengthen Food Security and Value Chain
- USABF – Advancing Digital Connectivity: Partnerships to Enable Inclusive Growth Through Technology
- 1:30 PM: USABF – Keynote Remarks from President Biden
- U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit Dinner
- Leaders Session – Partnering on Agenda 2063
- Discussion Session 1: “An Africa of good governance, democracy, respect for human rights, justice, and the rule of law”
- Discussion Session 2: “A peaceful and secure Africa”
- Discussion Session 3: “A prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development”
- Leaders Working Lunch – Multilateral Partnerships with Africa to Meet Global Challenges
- Summit Family Photo
- Leaders Session – Promoting Food Security and Food Systems Resilience
Friday, December 16, 2022
African and Diaspora Young Leaders Forum
Description: As outlined in President Biden’s U.S.-Africa Strategy toward Sub-Saharan Africa, our African Diaspora is a source of strength. It includes African Americans, descendants of formerly enslaved Africans, and nearly two million African immigrants who maintain close familial, social, and economic connections to the continent. The African and Diaspora Young Leaders Forum will elevate our diaspora engagement to strengthen the dialogue between U.S. officials and the diaspora in the United States and provide a platform for young African and diaspora leaders to fashion innovative solutions to pressing challenges. The forum will feature three breakout sessions on higher education, the creative industries, and environmental equity.
Theme: “Amplifying Voices: Building Partnerships that Last”Civil Society Forum
Description: The vision for the Civil Society Forum is directly related to three of the seven aspirations of the African Union’s Agenda 2063: 1) a prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development 2) an Africa of good governance, democracy, respect for human rights, justice and the rule of law 3) an Africa whose development is people-driven, relying on the potential offered by African people, especially women and youth, and caring for children. The session will highlight and elevate a diverse range of civil society voices on issues of importance in Africa and highlight the importance of including African civil society voices throughout the Summit.
Theme: “Inclusive Partnerships to Advance Agenda 2063”African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Trade Ministerial
Description: The AGOA Ministerial will be hosted by United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai with trade ministers from AGOA eligible countries, U.S. Members of Congress, senior officials from the U.S. government and the African Union; the African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the African Development Bank, and Regional Economic Communities (REC). The Ministerial will provide a platform to discuss AGOA implementation, including strengthening economic cooperation, expanding two-way trade and investment, supporting regional economic integration, and sharing perspectives on other key issues of mutual interest affecting U.S.-Africa trade.
Theme: “Modernizing the United States’ partnership and engagement with Sub-Saharan Africa to strengthen trade and investment relations and implement the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).”
U.S.- Africa Space Forum
Description: The U.S.-Africa Space Forum seeks to leverage outer space to meet shared goals for the U.S.-Africa relationship here on Earth. This Forum will include discussion on the use of space to support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and capacity building, and the role of the private sector in supporting U.S.-Africa Partnership.
Theme: “Strengthening the 21st Century U.S.-Africa Partnership in Space”Peace, Security, and Governance Forum
Description: Within the framework of Innovative Solutions to Security through Partnerships, senior U.S. and African leaders will exchange views on how security, stability, and sustainable democracy require an integrated approach and clear focus on governance. For example, security sector governance should focus on a holistic approach that involves managing reform processes within a framework of democratic control and oversight, involving a broad range of actors in and out of government, as well as nationally, regionally, locally, and multilaterally. No one solution exists, as many of the contributing factors to security challenges are localized, requiring innovative solutions. Therefore, a balanced and comprehensive approach that integrates different voices and partners provides the opportunity for more sustainable democracy and security dividends. Three distinguished African Heads of State will discuss inter-ministerial approaches to security, the role of communities and other partners, areas of focus in next 6-12 months. U.S. Cabinet leadership representing diplomacy, development and defense will discuss the strengths and challenges associated with a whole of government approach and explore how the U.S. and African countries can collaboratively innovate on solutions to security through partnership.
Theme: “Delivering Democracy and Security Dividends”
Partnering for Sustainable Health Cooperation
Description: This session will engage high-level U.S. and African leadership in a multisectoral discussion to identify steps to deepen our partnership and strengthen cooperation around shared health priorities. The session will take place in the context of longstanding, ongoing coordination between the U.S. Government, African nations, and the AU/Africa CDC on health priorities in the region. The discussion will focus on ways in which sustainable financing, innovation, and health system strengthening can effectively address existing health security threats and protect against future shocks. The two panels will focus on: 1) partnering to build resilient health systems and strengthen health security; and 2) investing in the health workforce to build more resilient health systems. It will also explore ways to promote a robust health workforce in order to support healthier populations and build more resilient health systems.
Theme: “Partnering for Sustainable Health Cooperation”
Conservation, Climate Adaptation, and a Just Energy Transition
Description: This session will explore the ways that the governments and peoples of the United States and African nations are partnering to address conservation, climate adaptation, and the just energy transition based on shared priorities. The discussion will identify ways that we might better integrate natural resource planning and infrastructure development, including clean energy. Session focus areas include 1) conservation including nature-based economies based on forests and wildlife and protecting Africa’s waters – ending Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing; 2) climate adaptation; and 3) the clean energy transition. Each segment will highlight the important role that women, girls, indigenous, and marginalized communities play as agents of change and will focus on opportunities for sub-national engagement.
Theme: “Building Our Green Future Together”
USABF – Charting the Course: The Future of U.S.-Africa Trade & Investment Relations
Description: Africa’s importance to global trade and investment will dramatically increase as its young population is set to double by 2050 to 2.5 billion people, representing more than a quarter of the world’s population, with a business and consumer market of $16 trillion. Africa is in the process of becoming the world’s largest single market via the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), as a number of countries have enacted reforms to improve business environments and attract private investment. These reforms and harmonization under AfCFTA will make African companies increasingly competitive and promote their integration into global supply chains. African countries are targeting efforts to develop key industries that play to U.S. strengths, including automotives, pharmaceuticals, energy, and ICT, including strategies to attract investments in critical infrastructure. Despite the tremendous opportunities emerging, U.S. trade and investment with Africa
USABF – Building a Sustainable Future: Partnerships to Finance African Infrastructure and the Energy Transition
Description: African countries are developing strategies to reconcile the need to expand access to electricity for 600 million citizens – half of Sub-Saharan Africa’s population – in the immediate term with the priority of building a sustainable energy system based on clean energy for the long term to cope with the increasing impacts of climate change. These strategies envision financing both the long-term transition away from fossil fuels, which represent 46 percent of the continent’s current energy mix, and expanding access to electricity, while also supporting the growing role Africa will play in international energy security as a source of the fuels of today and tomorrow, including the minerals needed for a greener economy. Amidst the overlapping crises of the COVID-19 pandemic and the global energy shortage caused by Russia’s war on Ukraine that have eroded two decades of positive gains, the need for innovative private-sector driven solutions is urgent. This session will build upon outcomes from COP27 and G20 discussions, as well as lessons learned from existing partnerships between the United States and Africa, such as the South African Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP). It will highlight strategies to capitalize on emerging opportunities to develop and adopt new technologies and put in place the right regulatory and investment regimes that will attract the investment needed and better integrate African energy markets trans-continentally and globally.
USABF – Growing Agribusiness: Partnerships to Strengthen Food Security and Value Chain
Description: In sub-Saharan Africa, the agriculture sector provides employment to two-thirds of the region’s population and is responsible for 14% of GDP. The sector has the potential to drive broad-based economic growth, as women and youth comprise the majority of workers, and agribusiness is forecast to be worth more than $1 trillion by 2030. Sub-Saharan Africa has seen the highest rate of agricultural growth compared to other regions, at 4.3% per year since 2000. However, the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have resulted in supply chain disruptions, reductions in income for farmers and consumers, and food price inflation across the world, with an exacerbated effect in African countries that depend on food imports to supplement domestic supply. Despite the challenges affecting the agricultural sector (such as access to finance, input price volatility, storage availability, and market connectivity) African governments and businesses are adapting to macroeconomic shocks and employing solutions to continue building the sector as a foundation for economic growth and source of greater food security. This session will highlight how partnerships between the public and private sectors can unlock the potential of agribusiness in Africa with increased productivity, strengthened value chains, and better integration into global supply chains.
USABF – Advancing Digital Connectivity: Partnerships to Enable Inclusive Growth Through Technology
Description: Despite the challenges of COVID-19, Africa has the fastest growing population of internet users in the world and is a pioneer of dynamic ICT innovations. Favorable youth demographics, rapid urbanization, and increased consumer spending are driving higher mobile adoption, despite countries needing an estimated $10 billion per year in investment to expand network access and global backbone connections. The African digital ecosystem presents a unique and urgent opportunity to accelerate African growth while expanding opportunities for U.S. companies and the application of U.S. expertise. Accelerating the expansion of digital connectivity, access, partnership, and innovation can catalyze economic growth and support the continent to overcome myriad challenges, while providing opportunities for governments to enhance inclusions, transparency, anti-corruption, and good governance by leveraging e-government services. This session will discuss opportunities and challenges for the U.S. and Africa to better collaborate to strengthen Africa’s dynamic digital economy, expand internet infrastructure, and advance inclusive, secure, and sustainable connectivity. This session will also discuss how to improve digital skills and literacy, include MSMEs, and foster an enabling environment that maximizes the potential of the African Union’s Digital Transformational Strategy to create an inclusive, secure digital market in Africa by 2030 with digital trade, digital identity, and digital economy development finance in a post-COVID Africa.