Arguably the biggest story today is the inauguration of Joe Biden as the USA's President. It wasn't only the top story in America, but across Africa too.
However, on social media, the conversations among some Africans were more about who was at the inauguration, who sang, who wore what, basically, for me, it felt like it was being treated like the pre-entertainment awards show red carpet event.
Equally frustrating, and I should be used to it by now, is how everything on the web, including serious matters like an inauguration, turn into a meme.
Despite all this, the big lingering question for us in Africa should be: what is Joe Biden's "Africa policy?"
It's an important question because in all the euphoria it is very easy to get lost on the important matters especially after what has generally been accepted that Donald Trump wasn't the best global citizen and didn't care much for the common good of the world.
Firstly, we need to remember that Joe Biden was Vice President under Barack Obama before Donald Trump was elected. It is tempting to look at that stint as VP as an indication or signal of what Biden's strategy for "Africa" might likely be. However, that would be unfair on him as he likely has his own take on the Democratic Party's policy regarding Africa. More importantly though, the world is different today to what it was then.
The biggest indicator of what Biden's Africa policy might look like is perhaps from during his election campaign when he answered a questionnaire by the Council on Foreign Relations on how the USA should adjust its policies to Africa. He highlighted the importance of the USA engaging Africa’s youth and prioritizing economic growth in Africa.
Specifically, he said that:
The United States should work with African partners today to:
● Prioritize economic growth by strengthening trading relationships and boosting Foreign Commercial Service posts to help drive economic ties and jobs - both American and African.
● Empower African women because we know that educated and empowered women are key to development, from economic growth to health.
● Start an urbanization initiative, including partnerships with U.S. cities, to help African cities plan for their growth in terms of critical sectors like energy access, climate change adaptation, transportation, and water management.
● Demonstrate the American model of democracy and economic development. The United States cannot afford to miss this moment to engage with African youth and to offer them a window into the American model of democracy.
Unlike his predecessor (who called African countries sh*tholes), it does sound like Biden has applied his mind to his Africa Policy. However, we, as Africans, ultimately have to remember that he is President of the USA, and whatever his Africa Policy is, we are not a priority.
Also, I was just wondering, is it only in our case that it is called an "Africa Policy" or does the USA also have a "Europe Policy" and "Asia Policy"?
Here are today's top stories.
❤️ Would you trust Artificial Intelligence (AI) and algorithms to choose the love of your life for you? This becomes tricky especially when you consider that people can easily misrepresent themselves online. Link
🚀 Egypt is offering its IT exporters some help to cope with the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a cash incentive for small businesses and tech startups. The aim is to help boost exports amid the pandemic. Link
✒️ Joe Biden is being inaugurated as President of the USA. What is also interesting is the list of people that are being pardoned by Donald Trump for various crimes. Among them is Anthony Levandowski, a former autonomous driving engineer at Uber, who was charged with stealing trade secrets from a competitor to give to Uber. More concerning is that it is being reported that Peter Thiel got Trump to pardon him. Link
🧪 If you are between the ages of 18 and 35 years and live in Africa you have to check this out. It's a competition by Rosatom that encourages youth to explore nuclear technologies and how these technologies can be utilized to benefit Africa. Link
As much as many in Africa watched his inauguration and felt a glimmer of hope that it was Joe Biden as the President of the USA and not his predecessor, the main question should be: what is Biden's Africa policy? Should we even care? (Tweet this | Share on WhatsApp)
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