1 of 6 | U.S. President Joe Biden greets Senegalese President Macky Sall as he participates in the U.S.-Africa Summit Leaders Session at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on Thursday. Photo by Oliver Contreras/UPI | License Photo
Dec. 15 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden on Thursday said that the United States plans to commit $55 billion in African over the next three years, as he hosted the continent's leaders at a summit in Washington, D.C.
So far the gathering has produced more than $15 billion in new deals that will improve the lives of people across the African continent. Biden said that in the future African leaders should continue to be at the negotiating table with other world leaders.
"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," Biden said. "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."
As part of that pledge, Biden called on the African Union to become a permanent member of the G20.
"We want to work with you on these issues that matter most to our people's lives," Biden said. "And we're looking to increase our collaboration in every area, from rural communities to urban centers, to cyberspace to outer space."
The three-day summit that started Tuesday is focusing on many issues facing Africa and the world, including health, food security, civil wars, climate change and space exploration.
Biden said that the U.S. plans to commit $55 billion in Africa would help support the continent. The White House also said that it would encourage creditors to provide debt relief to African nations.
"I'm asking the Congress for the authority to lend $21 billion to the International Monetary Fund to provide access to necessary financing for low- and middle-income countries," Biden said.
Power Africa, which has helped close 145 power generation investments of more than $24 billion, has announced the Clean Tech Energy Network -- a collaboration between U.S. and African energy stakeholders expected to mobilize $350 million in deals.
Other deals and agreements from the U.S.-Africa summit include The Millenium Challenge Corporation signing an agreement with Benin and Niger totaling $504 million. With additional contributions of $15 million from Benin and Niger, the regional compacts will support regional economic integration, trade and cross-border collaboration.
Biden said these deals are "concrete proof" of commitments between the United States and Africa.