BusinessDay

US outlines new sub-Saharan Africa policy

...seeks partnership to boost region’s economy

The United States has outlined new strategy for sub-Saharan Africa targeted at boosting economy and deepening democracy in the region.

Antony Blinken, the US secretary of state, outlined the new strategy on Monday in a speech at the University of Pretoria, South Africa.

The visit to SouthAfrica is one of the first stop of his tour, which will include the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda.

Blinken’s effort comes after several years during which Washington appeared uninterested in sub-Saharan Africa, and Africa at large.

During the speech, the diplomat outlined several measures the US was putting in place to improve lives, boost economy and upgrade infrastructure in the region and the entire Africa.

He noted that the US new strategy in the region is focused on supporting open and transparent societies, democratic governance, economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, and effort to mitigate climate change and expand clean energy.

According to him, “It’s a strategy that reflects the region’s complexity, its diversity, its agency; and one that focuses on what we will do with African nations and peoples.”

The diplomat stressed that the US would work with partners to deepen democracy in the region, boost economy by supporting businesses, adding that Washington was keen to work with Africa as equal partners.
Read also: Blinken visits South Africa, two others in new Africa tour

“We would work with partners to tackle threat to democracy like misinformation, weaponised corruption and digital surveillance,” he stressed.

Blinken however, added that the US would not seek to detect Africa choice, but that the Africans have a right to make their choice for themselves.

He stressed that it was obvious that Africans were desirous of democracy, because 80 percent of the people had rejected one man rule, Military rule and dictatorship.

Speaking further, Blinken pointed out that the US does not see Africa as the latest playing field in a competition between great powers, while Washington was not in competition with anyone.

He revealed that the US had invested over $300 million towards building data centres in Africa, stressing that $600 million internet connectivity contract was recently awarded which would spread across Asia, Europe and the whole of Africa to deliver high speed data connectivity for the people of the continent.

“Our strategy is rooted in the recognition that sub-Saharan Africa is a major geopolitical force, one that has shaped our past, is shaping our present, and will shape our future,” Blinken added.

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