Biden to Meet Six African Leaders in Push for Free Elections

(Bloomberg) -- President Joe Biden will urge the leaders of six African nations facing elections in 2023 to ensure that balloting is free and fair.
Biden will hold a private meeting at the White House on Wednesday with leaders from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Liberia, Nigeria, Madagascar, and Sierra Leone to discuss elections and democracy in Africa, a National Security Council spokesperson said.
“I want to be clear that having a meeting about elections in 2023 is not about us raising the alarm bell or claiming we’ve got concerns and then solutions,” National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said at a Monday press briefing. “It’s rather to say: There are important elections coming up, we would like to do everything we can to support those elections being free, fair and credible.”
Nigeria’s elections are threatened by a long-running Islamic insurgency in the northeast, bandit attacks in the northwest and growing separatist agitations in the southern part of the country. Liberia and Sierra Leone are still contending with fallout from past civil wars.
The meeting is being held during the three-day US-Africa Leaders Summit which has brought together delegations from nearly 50 African countries as well as the African Union. The Biden administration aiming to reassure African leaders the US is committed to working with them on trade and other issues, even as China and Russia deepen their economic and diplomatic ties to the continent.
Biden on Wednesday spoke at the US-Africa Business Forum, where he touted US efforts to strengthen democracy on the continent and vowed to work closely with African nations on a range of issues from climate, food security, and public health.
“Africa’s economic transition depends on good government, healthy populations and reliable and affordable energy,” Biden said. “The United States is committed to supporting every aspect, every aspect of Africa’s inclusive growth and creating the best possible environment for sustained commercial engagement between African companies and American companies. The United States is all in on Africa’s future.”
The US president stayed after his remarks to watch part of the World Cup Semi-Final match between Morocco and France before returning to the White House.
Earlier: Biden Welcomes Africa Leaders in Bid to Undo Image of US Neglect
As part of its commitment to the continent, the US over the next three year plans to invest $55 billion in Africa, targeted at the economic, security and health sectors, according Sullivan. White House officials declined to detail ...
14 Dec 2022 3PM English South Africa News · News Commentary

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