By Jeff Mason and Daphne Psaledakis, Reuters —
U.S. President Joe Biden will announce on Tuesday the establishment of an advisory council on engagement with the African diaspora in the United States, as Washington seeks to deepen ties with the region through a summit this week.
Dana Banks, special assistant to the president and special adviser for the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, said Biden will sign an executive order to establish the President’s Advisory Council on African Diaspora Engagement in the United States on Tuesday, which she said will advise the president on a range of issues.
The move will come on the first day of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, during which Biden will meet leaders of African countries. An African and Diaspora Young Leaders Forum is set to take place on Tuesday as part of the summit.
“African voices are essential to solving global problems. To elevate these voices, one of our primary focuses is to widen our circle of engagement to include African Diaspora communities,” Banks said.
It was not immediately clear who would be on the council but Banks said it would be made up of diverse representatives from African-American and African immigrant communities who have distinguished themselves in government, business, social work, sports and other areas.
“It will advise the President on a wide range of issues, enhance the dialogue between U.S. officials and the African Diaspora, and strengthen cultural, social, political, and economic ties between African communities, the global African Diaspora, and the United States,” Banks said.
A spokesperson for the National Security Council said the African Diaspora includes African Americans, including descendants of enslaved Africans, and nearly 2 million African immigrants.
Biden is also expected to announce during the summit support for the African Union joining the G20 group of the world’s largest economies as a permanent member.
The summit comes after the United States released a new strategy document for Sub-Saharan Africa in August, stressing the region’s importance, the threats posed by China and Russia, and vowing to extend defense cooperation with like-minded African countries.
Reporting by Jeff Mason and Daphne Psaledakis in Washington Editing by Matthew Lewis
Featured image: U.S. President Joe Biden meets with South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., September 16, 2022. (REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/)