January 20, 2021

Washington, DC – Today President Joseph Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States.  The empty National Mall, absent inaugural crowds, was a sober reminder of the January 6th Capitol riot. It was fitting that President Biden began his day with Mass at the Cathedral of Saint Matthew the Apostle before moving to the Capitol in his motorcade. In his Inaugural Address, Biden used “unity” as a main theme that can overcome the divisions in society.  Acknowledging the fear and uncertainty from the COVID-19 Pandemic, unemployment, systemic racism, domestic unrest, President Biden noted that there can be no progress without “unity.” 

Rev. Nelson Adjei-Bediako, SMA, Executive Director of the Africa Faith and Justice Network made the following remarks:

  • “The Africa Faith and Justice Network congratulates President Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. on his first day as the 46th President of the United States. President Biden’s words ring true among the African community. We look forward to working toward unity and engaging his Administration on ways to move forward meaningful US-Africa policies.
  • “AFJN welcomes and celebrates the historic nature of the swearing in of Vice President Kamala Harris, who is not just the first woman to hold this position, but the first woman of color.  As an organization with a particular focus on women’s empowerment, we will continue our work to advance the cause of women worldwide. ”
  • “The words of President Biden were full of hope and there was a sense of God’s presence throughout the ceremony, beginning with the gentle breeze and snow falling and ending with the sun shining on all the people.  
  • “The world is watching how President Biden will engage with other nations in stopping the spread of COVID-19.  One way he can strengthen the U.S. global leadership in the fight against this pandemic is to adhere to the issuance of the Special Drawing Rights by the International Monetary Fund so that African nations can access much-needed funds to buy vaccines in order to stop its global spread.”


The Africa Faith and Justice Network is a faith-based, non-partisan coalition of 29 US-based religious communities of men and women. Inspired by the Gospel and informed by Catholic Social Teaching, AFJN seeks to educate and advocate for just relations with Africa and to work in partnership with African peoples as they engage in the struggle for justice, peace, and the integrity of creation.