US top diplomat heads to Africa amid skepticism to Biden administration
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to African on Tuesday, amid the Biden administration’s competition with China for influence in the continent.
The top US diplomat will travel to Kenya, Nigeria and Senegal, to signal Washington’s so-called “America is back” message to the continent.as China pumps billions into African energy, infrastructure and other projects.
Despite its importance in the US-China rivalry, Africa has often been overshadowed amid more pressing issues in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and even Latin America.
Blinken begins his tour in Kenya, a key player in both neighboring Ethiopia and Sudan.
The United States has sanctioned the Eritrean military and the country’s ruling party for “contributing to the crisis and conflict” in Ethiopia.
Ethiopia has condemned the US for its sanctions and stepped up its criticism of “meddling” in its internal affairs. The African Unions has also expressed its skepticism and hostility to US sanctions.
From Kenya, Blinken will travel to Nigeria to meet Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and deliver a speech on the Biden administration’s Africa strategy.
Blinken will wrap up the trip in Dakar, where he’ll meet Senegalese President Macky Sall, who will soon take over the chairmanship of the African Union.