Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State, has arrived in Africa for his three-nation tour of the continent. He arrived in South Africa along with his entourage in the early hours of Sunday. From South Africa, Blinken will visit Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
This is the second time the US Secretary of State will be visiting Africa as part of his international tour.
The overall purpose of the visit to Africa at this point when the pandemic and Russia-Ukraine war has immensely impacted Africa is to strengthen relations between Africa and the United States. The context of this is to accelerate progress on mutual interest so that both sides can thrive together within a complex global environment, wrote Landry Signe, a senior fellow of Brookings Institution said.
As part of his visit to sub-Saharan Africa, Blinken will announce Biden’s US Strategy for sub-Saharan Africa. Another Objective of the visit will be to improve bilateral relations focusing on pressing issues within the three countries he will be visiting, such issues that will have an earnest effect on the continent more broadly.
Nigeria was not on Blinken’s list this time around. The secretary of state had visited Nigeria in his maiden tour of Africa in November 2021.
In the past five years Nigeria has been visited by three US Secretaries of State. Other secretaries who had visited were John Kerry in 2016 and Rex Tillerson in 2018. During each of these visit, major discussions were on counter-terrorism, human right and advancement of peace and security.