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Risch, Durbin Encourage Biden Administration to Follow Through on U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) yesterday introduced a resolution expressing support for a second U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit as an important opportunity to strengthen ties between the United States and African partners and build on areas of mutual interest.

“The Biden Administration is right to pursue a second U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. Our global partners, like Europe, and malign actors, like China and Russia, regularly convene African leaders not just to talk and discuss issues of common interest, but also to cement relationships through strategic initiatives. The summit is an opportunity for America to connect Africa’s leaders with the best of what American business, academia, civil society, and African diaspora living in the United States can offer,” said Risch. “Congress always plays a central role in U.S. policymaking, and my resolution seeks to ensure Capitol Hill is adequately engaged in the planning and execution of the second U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. If we've learned anything from recent global events, we need to demonstrate we are in a new era of U.S.-Africa relations where we can do great things together.”

“President Obama wisely saw the value in hosting the first African Leaders Summit in 2014, recognizing the importance of engaging with leaders from the continent,” said Durbin. “I am encouraged that President Biden plans to pursue a second such summit that will offer an opportunity to discuss a range of shared issues including democracy, security, and trade.”

Text of the resolution can be found here.

Senators Risch and Durbin have a history of working together on African issues. Last November, they introduced a resolution expressing support for a free, fair, and peaceful December 4, 2021, presidential election in The Gambia.

Last month, Senator Risch published an op-ed in Daily Maverick where he advocated for U.S. officials planning the U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit to watch closely the issues discussed during last month’s EU-Africa summit and identify areas of cooperation where the United States can work together with our European and African partners to tackle the massive challenges and build on the enormous opportunities ahead.