Angolan President João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço will meet President Biden in the Oval Office to reaffirm Biden’s commitment to Africa. The meeting follows Angola’s shift from Russian and Chinese influence to becoming a strategic partner to the US.
Reports reveal that Biden is set to endanger his commitment to African leaders to visit Africa this year despite senior US officials making critical trips throughout 2023.
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Angola was a strategic partner and a growing global voice on peace and security issues.
For months, Lourenço’s lobbyists had pleaded with officials in the Biden administration to arrange for the two presidents to meet, claiming that Angola’s choice to cooperate with the United States may be at risk without such a high-profile interaction.
This signifies a dramatic shift in Angolan foreign policy, according to lobbyist Robert Kapla.
Kapla’s letter to the Biden administration said President Lourenço is severing Angola’s long-standing connections to Russia and China in preference to a new alliance with the US, while other southern African countries are bolstering their links to China.
The previous week, Kapla sent a letter to the assistant secretary of state for African affairs, Ambassador Molly Phee, saying they have been advised that the good momentum both parties have achieved since 2017 may wither if Lourenço and Biden cannot meet this year.
Reports show that months before the visit, Biden and his allies from the Group of 20 top developing and wealthy nations revealed a Trans-African Corridor. This corridor would link the Angolan port of Lobito to landlocked areas of Africa, such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Kananga province and Zambia’s copper mining regions. It’s a component of Biden’s worldwide infrastructure agenda that aims to refute China’s Belt and Road scheme.
While hosting African leaders in Washington last December, Biden promised to visit the continent in 2023. However, the White House has consistently refused to confirm when Biden will make a trip there, and there are no signs that he will follow through.