Joe Biden has a chance to restore the United States’ credibility in parts of the world that are crucial for U.S. foreign policy.

Abdi Nor Iftin is a Somali-American writer, radio journalist and public speaker. He lives in Yarmouth.

The continent of Africa has remained ignored under the Trump administration. The U.S. commitment of trade and investment in the continent has been unheard of for the last four years. The United States always had a good chance in the continent of Africa of building a deeper friendship and commitment of trade. Trump had done damage with his s***hole-insulting word to describe the continent with no apologies. This still rings in the minds of the Africans. It reminded many of Joseph Conrad’s literary work “Heart of Darkness.”

Trump’s lack of interest in visiting the continent as president while he flew to other parts of the world, including Europe and Asia multiple times, has left the giant continent of Africa turning to United States’ rivals. Biden should visit the continent in his early days in office to mend the relations and re-evaluate U.S. foreign strategy in the continent.

America’s biggest rival, China, it seems has won the race for dominance in Africa. Unlike the Europeans who went to Africa in the 19th century to steal materials, or the U.S. that had built military bases there, China has moved in and is clearly benefiting from its dominance by funding 1 in 5 infrastructure projects on the continent. It’s building over 4,000 miles of railways, including the one connecting Ethiopia and Djibouti. If readers recall, the U.S. has its largest military base in Djibouti.

Biden’s administration should remember the future is in Africa. The continent should never be ignored and major projects must be implemented – not necessarily military projects but infrastructure and aid. The reason the continent should not be ignored is that Africa has 54 votes in the United Nations General Assembly, 9.6% of the global oil output, 90% of the world platinum supply, half of the world’s gold supply, 90% of the world’s cobalt supply, two-thirds of the world’s manganese, 75% of the world’s coltan and 35% of the world’s uranium.

The United States remains the No. 1 destination for African migrants searching for better lives, education and other opportunities. The Biden administration should take advantage of the golden opportunity that remains and invest in these young men and women from the continent, who will be the future leaders of Africa.

Lift the racist travel ban on the African countries; reverse the Trump administration’s discriminatory foreign policy towards the continent of Africa. As when President Obama was elected in 2008, let Africa celebrate the wins of the United States again.

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