As of the time of going to press, Vice President Joe Biden needed just six electoral votes to clinch victory to the White House. Assuming a win in the state of Nevada, which has six electoral votes, and where Biden had extended his lead as of press time, Biden would be declared the 46th president of the United States today.
Baring that scenario, there would be clear shifts in policy from the Trump administration’s, with clear implications for Nigeria.
Under Trump, Nigeria-America relations have arguably been under stress test. Aside from the fact that Trump had made derogatory and obscene remarks about a category of countries that includes Nigeria, he had enacted policies that directly impacted the socio-economic welfare of Nigeria.
It may be recalled that in 2019, Trump added Nigeria to a special watch list and a Muslim ban list, restricting travel and immigration from Nigeria.
However, according to policy information provided on his campaign website, Biden said if elected as President of the United States of America, he would reverse the ban placed on countries such as Nigeria with sizeable Muslim population, which prevents them from immigrating to the US.
Joe Biden also said he will create a new visa category, allowing cities in the US, who are struggling with shrinking populations to apply for immigrants who can come and support the region’s economic development strategy.
Trump’s administration has also openly antagonised Nigeria’s candidate for top global jobs. Akinwunmi Adesina of the Africa Development Bank was placed under investigation after a whistleblower alleged corruption; Trumpian America backed his scrutiny despite the fact that he had been cleared by an independent panel.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is the latest to suffer from Trumpian America’s disapproval in vying for the top job at the World Trade Organisation.
Biden says he will renew, the United States’ mutually respectful engagement towards Africa with a bold strategy that reaffirms commitment to supporting democratic institutions on the continent, advancing lasting peace and security, promoting economic growth, trade, and investment; and supporting sustainable development.
That stance will likely impact Nigeria, which has been struggling to end the Boko Haram Insurgency. As an anecdote of his promise, when Biden was Vice President of the US, he spearheaded a number of interventions to help stop the activities of the terror group.
Under the Barack Obama administration, the US offered the Goodluck Jonathan administration to help rescue the Chibok schoolgirls in the early days of their abduction — a gesture turned down by the then Nigerian Government.
He plans to achieve this by, asserting America’s commitment to shared prosperity, peace and security, democracy, and governance as foundational principles of U.S.-Africa engagement.