Africa now has the promise of a seat at the global table

President Joe Biden's announcement Dec. 15 that he will support membership of the 55-nation African Union in the Group of 20 nations (G-20) is a crucial step forward for the nations and people of Africa, as well as for the African diaspora in America and around the world.

As one Biden administration official acknowledged to Axios: "This administration starts with the conviction that Africans are critical to addressing the most challenging problems of our time. It's a different frame than previous administrations. It's a focus on what we do with Africans, not just what we do in Africa."

This partnership idea is something that many U.S. nonprofits have used successfully with local partners in Africa to build classrooms, provide food security and help support education. One example is Books For Africa (BFA), a St. Paul-based nonprofit, which formed a partnership with the African Union in 2018 to provide thousands of books to the A.U. Library in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and to other locations.

The books have been a vital resource for students, researchers and academics who want to learn about African and global history, health, social and cultural affairs, and politics. BFA continues to ship books to schools, libraries, and universities throughout Africa. It has shipped more than 56 million books and served every one of the 55 African countries in the African Union since its founding in 1988. This includes millions of books sent to our home countries of Nigeria and Ethiopia — connections that we and our colleagues in the African diaspora have helped foster.