US Reiterates Commitment to Africa with Blinken’s Tour


From 21 to 26 January 2024, US State Secretary Blinken travelled to Cabo Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria and Angola. According to the Press Release, the trip reaffirms the USA’s ‘sustained commitment to high-level engagement with Africa’ and is a direct outcome of the 2nd US-Africa Leaders Summit (#UALS2) in 2022.

“Africa represents not only the future but also the present. When I travel around the world, African voices are increasingly heard. At the United Nations, Africa and the countries that make up Africa are a significant power. We recently included Africa in the G20 under the leadership of the United States. We want to see Africa integrated into all international institutions and, indeed, play a role that corresponds to the weight Africa holds in the world.”

US State Secretary Antony Blinken

It is worth noting that US State Secretary Blinken’s tour of Africa follows right after that of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who visited Egypt, Tunisia, Togo and Cote d’Ivoire from 13 to 18 January 2024. Interestingly, both programmed a stop in Cote d’Ivoire which is currently hosting the African Cup of Nations football tournament.


Blinken Tours Port of Praia
Blinken Tours Port of Praia

In Cabo Verde, Secretary Blinken met with Cabo Verdean PM Ulisses e Silva to promote security and prosperity in West Africa and the Atlantic Basin. Secretary Blinken also visited the Port of Praia, which is being upgraded thanks to an investment by US Millenium Goal Challenge (#MCC).

Blinked also lauded the Partnership for Atlantic Cooperation (#PAC) where cooperation in the #BlueEconomy holds great potential. Currently, the PAC regroups 36 nations on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean from North to South, including many in West Africa.


Blinken Visits Regional Africa Rice Center in Abidjan
Blinken Visits Regional Africa Rice Center in Abidjan

In Cote d’Ivoire, Secretary Blinken had a session with Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara. Then, he joined the Ivorian Foreign Minister Leon Adom to watch a football match between Cote d’Ivoire and Equatorial Guinea as part of the Africa Cup of Nations 2024 (AFCON) soccer tournament.

In the company of the African Development Bank (AfDB) President Akinwumi Adesina, he visited regional Africa Rice Center(#ARC) where he met with a young woman farmer and other entrepreneurs in agribusiness. Thanks to the assistance from #AfDB, they are contributing to improve #FoodSecurity in the face of challenges posed by #ClimateChange. In particular, the ARC is developing and propagating new varieties of rice and other food crops that are climate resilient.

Blinken also underscored that the US is proud to be the 2nd largest shareholder of the AfDB and the top donor for the World Food Program.


Blinken Participates to Official Opening of American Corner in Lekki

In Nigeria, Secretary Blinken met with Nigerian President Ahmed Tinubu. He visited the vibrant Tech Hub in Lagos which is developing innovative technological solutions which can make a positive impact in the local communities and beyond.

While in Lagos, he also had an interactive session with Americans in Lagos. Secretary Blinken seized the opportunity to participate in the official opening of the American Corner in Lekki. The modern facility will hopefully inspire young Nigerians to soar and advance STEM education in Nigeria.

He also visited the art gallery of Nike Davies-Okundaye who is an alumnus of the US Visitor Leadership Program (#VLP). The VLP aims to connect leaders around the world in order to share ideas and build partnerships.

Finally, Blinken visited the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research which benefits from the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (#PEPFAR) program. The partnership started as a program to fight HIV/AIDS but has since evolved to foster public health in general.


Blinken Visits US Telco Africell in Angola
Blinken Visits US Telco Africell in Angola

In Angola, Secretary Blinken met with his counterpart Angolan Minister of External Relations Tete Antonio and Angolan President Joao Lourenco. Discussions revolved around security, agriculture and infrastructure. In particular, the #LobitoCorridor and the situation near the border with Rwanda were discussed.

Blinken highlighted that the US is happy to contribute to the expansion of the #LobitoCorridor under the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (#PG2I) program. The Lobito Corridor will contribute to secure access to #CriticalMinerals in order to attain the #ClimateChange goals.

Minister Antonio believes the #LobitoCorridor will greatly assist in #RegionalIntegration and the development of Regional Value Chains (#RVC). Eventually, he envisions the #LobitoCorridor getting extended to connect the Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean.

Blinken reiterated that the US has committed to funding the refurbishment of the existing 1,300-km Atlantic Rail Line and to extend the railway by another 800 km, through a consortium of six partners, including Angola.

Similarly, the US is advancing #EnergyTransition through a multi-billion-dollar #PV program which will eventually power up half a million households in Angola with renewable energy.

“I‘m here in Angola and here in Africa as part of this four-country trip because we see America’s future and Africa’s future as joined. Our peoples are joined; our prosperity and success in the future is linked. African voices are shaping this century and leading on issues of global importance, including issues that matter to both of our peoples and their lives, from shared prosperity to dealing with climate change, to building greater food security.“

US State Secretary Blinken

On the #FoodSecurity front, the #USAID has come up with a Vision for Adapted Crops and Soils (#VACS) as part of its Feed the Future Program to develop crops that are more resilient to #ClimateChange.

Blinken noted that Angola is served by Africell, which is the largest US telecom carrier in Africa. Africell plans to invest in the deployment of fiber optic cable along the #LobitoCorridor to boost #digitalization.