WASHINGTON – South Sudan’s civil society activist Edmund Yakani has hailed the just-concluded US-African leaders’ summit as a strategic platform for transformation of relations between African countries and the United States.
Almost 50 African heads of states were in Washington from 13 to 15 December for the US-African summit where they discussed with President Joe Biden core issues including but not limited to the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and effects of Russian invasion of Ukraine on African economies.
Activist Yakani who is the executive director of South Sudan’s civil society watchdog, the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO), was among many other of African activists invited to the summit by the Biden Administration.
In a statement extended to Sudans Post on Friday evening, Yakani hailed the important gathering as instrumental and strategic for better relations between the United States of America and African countries.
“CEPO as South Sudan civil society considered the participation in the US-African Leaders summit from 13-15 December, 2022 in Washington DC as instrumental and strategic for strengthening the US-African partnership for mutual benefits of the citizens. The summit is a great platform for building consensus and reaching decisions that improvement concrete and strategic partnership,” Yakani said.
“The adopted partnership priorities are so strategic and beneficial for the US and African citizens, private sector and governments if it is effectively implemented by both US and Africans governments,” the prominent activist stressed.
$55 BILLION IN US COMMITMENTS
The U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit concluded with bonhomie, $55 billion in U.S. commitments, the Voice of America reported, with President Joe Biden promising a trip, in 2023, to Sub-Saharan Africa.
“As I told some of you — you invited me to your countries,” Biden told the heads of African states attending the summit.
“I said, ‘Be careful what you wish for because I may show up. The poor relatives always show up. The wealthy ones never show up. The poor come and they eat your food and stay longer than they should.’ Well, I’m looking forward to seeing many of you in your home countries,” he added.
In the statement, Yakani said the pledge by the American government is a show of commitment to partnership with Africa from the American administration.
“The US-African leaders summit offered concrete ground for nurturing ground of experiences of skills and knowledge between the US and African citizens, private sector, civil society and governments. What the leadership of president Biden did is strategic and historical for the partnership of US-African relations,” Yakani said.
“The priorities adopted and agreed upon the vision statement of US-African leaders summit dated 15th December, 2022 by White House is great and speaks to the real needs and priorities of African citizens. The commitment of $55 billion for the next three years for the implementation of the summit adopted priorities including the declaration of president Biden visiting African in 2023 is encouraging and clear demonstration of will for gaining positive change,” Yakani stressed
The prominent South Sudanese activist further called on African leaders to be serious on the implementation of the outcome of the summit seriously and further called on the government of South Sudan to negotiate with the United States for better relations.
“CEPO is urging US-African leaders to take the implementation of the adopted priorities seriously and we will engage in tracking the implementation of these priorities,” he said.
“For specific interest of South Sudan, it is essential that the government of South Sudan should adopted strategy of renegotiating renewal of foreign relations with the US Government. This is should be an immediate act before president Biden visit to African in 2023,” he added.