US foreign secretary on three-country tour in Africa as spectre of coups threatens civilian rule
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken travels to Kenya, Nigeria and Senegal next week, where he will discuss ending the Covid-19 pandemic and battling climate change, his spokesman said Thursday.
Blinken will meet with the president of each country to “advance US-Africa collaboration on shared global priorities,” state department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.
Other topics of conversation on the agenda for the Monday to Saturday trip include revitalising democracies, advancing peace and security, and a more inclusive global economy, Price said.
The choice of East Africa and West Africa is deliberate as a result of political developments in the past four months.
Notably, the visit takes place against the backdrop of military coups in Sudan, Mali and Guinea, while Kenya’s neighbour in the north, Ethiopia, is in the grip of insurgency that is threatening to overrun the capital Addis Ababa. The Mali and guinea have already been delisted from list of African countries that enjoy preferential access to the US market under the AGOA treaty.
In Nairobi, Blinken will meet with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and other government officials, and underscore US support for peaceful 2022 elections.
Next, he travels to Abuja, to meet with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and deliver a speech on US-Africa policy. He will end his trip in Dakar where he will meet with Senegalese President Macky Sall and other officials.
- An AP report