(TheLibertyRevolution.com)- This week, President Biden welcomed the leaders of nearly 50 African countries to a summit designed to “reset” Washington’s commitment to a region where China and Russia are also seeking to expand their influence.
In his opening remarks at the multi-day US-Africa Leaders Summit, Biden declared, “When Africa succeeds, the United States succeeds” and “the whole world succeeds as well.”
The summit focused on issues the White House believes are critical to Africa’s future, including public health, food security, and (of course) climate change.
During his speech, Biden announced billions of dollars in new trade investments along with an initiative to help expand internet access in Africa. Biden argued that improving infrastructure in Africa “is essential to our vision of building a strong global economy.”
Later in the summit, Biden unveiled plans to travel to the continent and appoint a new special representative for implementing the summit’s commitments.
The leaders of four nations, however, were excluded from the summit invite list following recent coups. The leaders that did attend included some whose countries are known to have dire human rights records.
Among those countries not to receive an invitation was Somaliland, even though it has governed itself for over thirty years.
According to Dana Banks, the senior White House advisor for the Africa Summit, the invitations sent by the administration were for “countries who are in good standing with the African Union.” Since the African Union does not recognize Somaliland as a full member, and no country has formally recognized its independence, it did not receive an invitation.
But according to Michael Rubin of the Enterprise Institute, Banks mischaracterized the African Union’s position on Somaliland.
Rubin explains in a column at 19FortyFive.com that even the African Union included Somaliland in several of its summits and treated its officials “as equal to their African peers.” He also outlines the implications of the administration’s decision not to include Somaliland in this week’s summit.