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Oct 06 – Oct 19, 2022
africa summit

Two Biden-Harris White House officials met with members of the African diaspora and shared plans for the upcoming US-Africa Summit, the first since the Obama-Biden African Leaders’ Summit in 2014. When referring to the difference between the Biden-Harris response to Africa and that of Trump-Pence, veteran civil rights activist Ron Daniels stated at the September 28 pre-brief meeting that when Trump was in office, “We were totally ignored.”

The US-Africa Leaders’ Summit takes place in Washington, December 13 to 15. Dana Banks, Special Assistant to the President and Special Advisor for the U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit, National Security Council outlined the focus activity for the three days:

Day 1- the African Diaspora and Next Generation, plus the African Growth and Opportunity Act,

Day 2-Business Forum, and

Day 3- All leaders convene and the Africa Union’s Agenda 2063. Banks added that she expects the Summit’s deliverables will include agreements on “food security to collaboration on space issues.”

The first day of the summit will include a Diaspora Forum with an emphasis on including the voices of next generation African leaders, added Deniece Laurent-Mantey, Director for Africa, National Security Council. She also observed that compared to many of its adversaries working with Africa, the United States has an African diaspora. “It’s our policy advantage,” she said.

Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic Not Invited

The United States invited most African Union members to the summit. Notably missing from the invitation list is the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, which recently fell victim to an Israel-United States-Morocco deal. When Port of Harlem asked for the reasons for the non-invitation, Banks was diplomatically unclear.  Also not invited were Eritrea and the four states the African Union suspended after having coups:  Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali, and Sudan.

The Constituency for Africa (CFA) Co-Sponsored Meeting

The Constituency for Africa (CFA) partnered with the Center for Strategic and International Affairs to host the meeting with Banks and Laurent-Mantey. The meeting was the result of a continued effort by the CFA to involve the African Diaspora in US-Africa policies.

CFA President Melvin Foote, who founded the advocacy group in 1990, added, “It was really wonderful to see so many key stakeholders from Diaspora organizations, educational institutions, and companies, attending the meeting to hear from White House officials about plans for the U.S. Africa Summit.”

Earlier this year, in a 33-page position paper, CFA provided the Biden-Harris administration four key recommendations:

I. Expand Trade, Investment, and Commerce capability for African-Americans, the African Diaspora, and Minority Business Partnerships;

II. Develop Health Care Infrastructure and Capacity, such as projects for pharmaceutical, including vaccine manufacturing, and quality medical care in Africa;

III. Assist in creating more educational programs, investing in human development, and building social networks that involve the next generation of youth and leaders in Africa and the U.S.; and,

IV. Promote Democracy, Conflict Resolution, Civil Society, and Good Governance.

Port of Harlem Readers are Involved

Port of Harlem assists our readers in exercising Recommendation III via our Facebook page, cultural activities in the United States and The Gambia, and the Port of Harlem Gambian Education Partnership (POHGEP).

On our Facebook page, readers across nationalities often engage in meaningful conversations and come to meaningful understandings. Our cultural programs included exhibits with the (The Gambia) National Centre for Arts and Culture and Read Africa at the Francis Gregory Library in Washington, D.C.

Via POHGEP, readers sponsor the education of 20 Gambian children, a library, and small-scale infrastructure programs in Nema Kunka, The Gambia. The programs also aid in human development amongst young Gambians.

Edward D. Sargent, a POHGEP donor, stated, “As an African American, it is important that I add my support to anyone seeking to improve the lives of Diasporans. To whom much is given much is required. I am grateful that the Port of Harlem Gambian Education Partnership has given me a path to touch the continent in a positive manner while helping our people sustain their missions to build infrastructure both physically and mentally.”

Port of Harlem will continue to cover the summit.
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