South Africans will welcome United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken next week, as he begins a three-nation tour meant to strengthen U.S. relationships with African nations.
While in Pretoria, Blinken plans to present the U.S. Strategy for Sub-Saharan Africa. It reaffirms the U.S. position that “African countries are geostrategic players and critical partners on the most pressing issues of our day,” the department said in a statement.
The U.S. delegation will participate in the U.S.-South Africa Strategic Dialogue, with a priority on climate change, food insecurity, and trade and economic development. Blinken’s visit comes ahead of a planned U.S.-Africa leaders summit in the U.S. in December, and follows the recent U.S.-Africa Business Summit in Morocco.
Blinken will follow his South Africa visit with a stop in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with a focus on human rights and ensuring free and fair elections in 2023.
“He will also focus on combating corruption, supporting trade and investment, addressing the climate crisis, building agricultural resilience, and supporting regional African efforts to advance peace in eastern DRC and the broader Great Lakes region,” the department said.
A visit to Kigali will finish out the trip, with Blinken hoping to help reduce tensions between Rwanda and neighboring DR Congo there as well. Among other human rights concerns, he is expected to appeal the wrongful detention case of U.S. resident Paul Rusesabagina.
Image: U.S. Department of State file