The US president has said he plans to travel to the African nation President Joe Biden meets with Angola’s President Joao Manuel Goncalves Lourenco in the Oval office of the White House, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023, in Washington. © AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

US President Joe Biden said on Thursday he will travel to Angola, as Washington seeks to strengthen relations with African nations. The last time an American president visited the continent was in 2015, when Barack Obama traveled to Kenya and Ethiopia.

Biden made the announcement during a meeting at the White House with Angolan President Joao Lourenco, who is in the US on a working visit.

“I have been there and I will be back,” the US president said when asked about visiting the southern African nation.

While Biden did not specify when he would make the trip to Angola, Lourenco said an invitation would be sent at a later date.

“We’ll negotiate the dates when the visit will take place,” the Angolan leader said.

The US president pledged last year to visit Africa in 2023 and enhance ties with the continent’s countries as Washington vies for influence with China and Russia. He has yet to visit any African country, despite the year drawing to a close. He has, however, taken last-minute trips to Israel, Vietnam, and Ukraine.

During talks with Angola’s president on Thursday, Biden sought to reiterate his commitment to reviving ties with Africa while also promoting major US investments on the continent.

“When I started as a young senator on the Foreign Relations Committee, I was the chairman of the African Affairs Subcommittee. And as you’ve heard me say before, America is all in on Africa. And we’re all in with you and Angola,” Biden said.

“Africa, 1 billion people, critically important how it functions for the whole world. And no country more important than Angola,” he added.

The US is using Russia’s playbook in Africa, but there’s a catch The US is using Russia’s playbook in Africa, but there’s a catch

Washington is investing $1 billion in the Lobito Corridor rail project, which would connect Angola to Zambia’s Copperbelt Province and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. According to Bloomberg, the project is also the centerpiece of the Biden administration’s efforts to compete with China, which has dominated infrastructure investment in Africa for decades.

“This first-of-its kind project is the biggest US rail investment in Africa ever, one that’s going to create jobs and connect markets for generations to come,” Biden told his Angolan counterpart.

In addition, he said Washington is funding a number of initiatives and solar energy projects in Africa worth nearly $1 billion. These projects, he claims, will help Angola generate 75% of its clean energy by 2025.

The US has insisted that its interest in Africa is not driven by competition with other countries. (RT)