United States President Joe Biden plans to hold a summit with African leaders to show Washington’s commitment to the continent, Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said.
The top US diplomat is on his first trip to sub-Saharan Africa where he is looking to champion President Joe Biden’s key priorities of promoting democracy and fighting both climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic.
On his first stop Wednesday in longtime ally Kenya, Blinken called for African-driven solutions to the continent’s crises including the spiralling war in Ethiopia — where Nigeria’s former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, has been leading mediation.
With 20 percent of sub-Saharan Africa’s population and its largest economy, Nigeria is critical for any continent-wide strategy and successive US administrations have courted Nigerian leaders since the restoration of civilian rule in 1999.
Delivered remarks in Abuja today about the importance of strengthening our partnerships across Africa in ways that serve the interests of Africa, the United States, and people worldwide, whose lives and futures depend in part on what we can achieve together. pic.twitter.com/onp3aSjjMl
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) November 20, 2021
Blinken made the announcement on Friday from the Nigerian capital of Abuja, his second stop on a three-country tour of sub-Saharan Africa that began in Nairobi, Kenya and will end in Dakar, Senegal.