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US Secretary of State Blinken to conclude 6-day Africa trip in Senegal

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US Secretary of State Blinken to conclude 6-day Africa trip in Senegal

Blinken to conclude 6 day Africa trip in Senegal
Photo: The New York Times

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will conclude a six-day African tour today in Senegal.

Blinken previously visited Kenya and Nigeria on the trip, which aims to increase US-Africa cooperation. Across Nairobi, Abuja and Dakar, Blinken focused on strengthening collaboration, including strategies for exiting the COVID-19 pandemic, forging an inclusive economic recovery, tackling the climate crisis and advancing peace.

Blinken’s trip comes as some African democratic institutions find themselves increasingly under threat from violence and authoritarianism, notably in Sudan. Furthermore, Ethiopia’s continued conflict risks destabilizing Africa’s second-most populous country and the African Union’s seat.

Blinken faces an uphill battle in restoring confidence in America’s commitment to Africa following the Trump administration. America must also contend with China for regional influence, which has significantly increased its economic presence in Africa in recent years. While millions of donated COVID-19 vaccines give something immediate to tout as proof, Blinken likely will face questions over how the US intends to support the continent’s economic recovery in a sustainable and inclusive manner in the long-term. Expect Blinken to also face pressure on a US response to Ethiopia–while deploying a State Department envoy accomplished little, a more forceful approach is unlikely.

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