US Secretary of State to visit Africa next week

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to Africa next week, according to the US State Department, as the Biden administration ramps up diplomatic efforts to resolve concerns in Ethiopia and Sudan while also working to strengthen counterterrorism collaboration.

Blinken will depart on Monday for his first trip to Sub-Saharan Africa as America’s top diplomat. He will be stopping in Kenya, Nigeria, and Senegal.

Previously, Blinken conducted online discussions with the presidents of Nigeria and Kenya in April, in what the State Department touted as a “virtual tour to Africa”.

According to a statement from the department, Blinken will meet with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in Nairobi to discuss topics such as partnership to end the COVID-19 outbreak and regional security problems such as Ethiopia, Somalia, and Sudan.

Blinken will address West African security, health, climate, democracy, and development challenges in Nigeria and Senegal, according to the State Department, including the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and the promotion of a fairer and more inclusive global economy.

Blinken will meet with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja and deliver a speech on the Biden administration’s Africa agenda. He will also lobby for expanded economic and trade ties between the two countries.

He will end his journey in Dakar, where he is due to meet Senegalese President Macky Sall, who will shortly take over as chairperson of the African Union.

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