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U.S. Secretary Of State To Visit Nigeria As West African Tour Begins

The United States Secretary Of State, Anthony Blinken, has begun his tour to four West African Countries, starting with Cape Verde and The Republic of Cote d’Ivoire on Monday, January 22. Blinken will also visit Nigeria and Angola during the week.

This is the first time since his March 2023 visit to Niger that Blinken is visiting Sub-Saharan Africa. The visit also comes at a time where the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, is visiting three different African countries – Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, and Liberia.

Analysts believe that this visit serves as a way of signaling Africa that Biden’s administration still has the continent’s interest in mind. It might also be intended to make up for Biden failing to uphold his promise of visiting Africa in 2023.

“We are all in when it comes to Africa,” Blinken said in Cape Verde on Monday, while quoting Biden.

The African tour is important for the U.S. as its political rivals, Russia and China, continue to strengthen their relationships with African countries.

“Our futures are linked, and African voices increasingly are shaping, animating and leading the global conversation,” said the Blinken, during the meeting with the Prime Minister of Cape Verde, Ulisses Correia e Silva.

Blinken added that the U.S. is “committed to deepening, strengthening and broadening partnerships across Africa.”

Going further, he called Cape Verde a “beacon of stability” and a “strong, principled voice,” as he commended the country’s cooperation with the U.S. in terms of law enforcement and naval stops.

The U.S. assistant secretary of state for African affairs, Molly Phoe, had also praised Cape Verde, ahead of Blinken’s visit to the nation, calling Cape Verde “a terrific democracy.”

Later in the evening, the U.S. secretary arrived The Republic of Cote d’Ivoire where he watched­ the host country lose in a 4-0 defeat against Equatorial Guinea in the African Cup of Nations.

Ahead of Blinken’s tour, the U.S. State Department spokesperson, Matthew Miller, said that the State Secretary would emphasise U.S. infrastructure investments in Africa on the tour. He said that this would boost mutual trade, “create jobs at home and on the continent, and help Africa compete in the global marketplace.”

During the week-long African tour, Blinken will be looking to discuss issues like climate change, security and economic investments, among other issues.

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