Biden fully endorses granting African Union permanent G-20 membership

Biden Africa Summit
President Joe Biden endorsed granting the African Union permanent membership to the G20 Thursday. Patrick Semansky/AP

Biden fully endorses granting African Union permanent G-20 membership

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President Joe Biden endorsed granting the African Union permanent membership to the G-20 Thursday.

Biden’s comments came during his closing remarks at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C., and followed an announcement in September that the U.S. supported adding permanent “representation for Africa” to the United Nations Security Council.

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“Our nations have worked closely together for a long time. They’ve improved the lives of countless people in all our countries in meaningful ways on both sides of the Atlantic,” Biden said Thursday. “With this summit, and with the African Union’s Agenda 2063, our eyes are fixed squarely on the future.”

“Africa belongs at the table in every room where global challenges are being discussed and in every institution where discussions are taking place,” he continued. “And today, I’m also calling for the African Union to join the G-20 as a permanent member of the G-20. It’s been a long time in coming but it’s going to come.”

On Wednesday, the president announced a series of new investments and agreements brokered by the U.S. and several African nations aimed at providing the continent with “high-quality infrastructure,” including expanded internet and clean energy access.

Biden said Africa and the United States were forever connected by slavery, which he called this country’s “original sin.”

“We remember the stolen men and women and children [who] were brought to our shores in chains, subjected to unimaginable cruelty,” he said on Wednesday.

Biden, citing the wave of democratic elections that have taken place across Africa over the past year, described the continent as critical in advancing democracy around the globe.

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“We can’t solve any of these challenges without African leadership at the table. I’m not trying to be nice. That’s a fact,” he stated. “There’s so much more that we can do together and will do together.”

You can watch his remarks in full below.

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