Biden invites Museveni for 2nd US-Africa summit

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US President Joe Biden and his Ugandan counterpart Museveni. PHOTO/COMBO

What you need to know:

  • There had been fears that Mr Museveni would be snubbed amid question marks over Uganda’s human rights record.

At least forty-five African Heads of State, including Uganda's President Museveni, have so far offered to attend the second US-Africa Leaders' Summit slated for December 13-15 in Washington.

Invitations were sent out to 49 African leaders, including the African Union Commission chairperson, Mr Moussa Faki Mahamat.

Leaders of four countries; Burkina, Mali, Sudan and Burkisa Faso—where the military seized power—were not invited.

Top on the agenda for the second US-Africa summit, US State Department officials told journalists yesterday at a virtual press conference, are peace and security, climate change and food security on the continent.

“We expect some of the outcomes to be deepening and expanding reflection of our long- term US-Africa partnership while we advance our shared priorities to amplify African voices,” said Mr Robert Scott, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs.

The three-day summit is a follow-up of the first summit in August 2014 convened under the President Barack Obama administration.

Mr Scott added that the summit is geared at recalibrating US-Africa relations under the prevailing geo-political condition.

“We are looking at complementing our relationship. The world we are living in now is different from 2014,” he noted.

The first-day of the summit will include back-to-back forums for different themes from African-diaspora, peace and security, and governance, among others. Day two is scheduled for the US-African business forum to explore investment opportunities on the continent.

Ms Dana Banks, the National Security Council senior adviser for the summit, said they have also invited civil society actors, youth groups and youth leaders, in the back-to-back forums.

Earlier on in March, the chairperson of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Mr Robert Menendez, petitioned Mr Biden to lock Mr Museveni out of the meeting on account of the Kampala regime’s deteriorating human rights record.

However, visiting US Permanent Representative to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield revealed in May that they engage with all leaders with whom they differ in opinions.

The United States gives Uganda nearly $1 billion dollars each year, mainly for health and security support.