Blinken’s African tour amid the “new scramble for Africa”, By Oluwaseun Tella

U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken. Picture credit: AP.

The US is thus playing catch up following years of neglect of the continent. While it was previously the dominant player in Africa in all dimensions of power, including economic, military and soft power, China overtook the US in 2009 as the continent’s largest trade partner. Russia is increasingly assertive in the security realm and the EU is exercising its soft power in Africa. Given this “new scramble for Africa”, it is imperative that African leaders are strategic in their relations with external actors…

United States (US) Secretary of State Antony Blinken embarked on his second visit to Africa from 7 to 12 August, touching down in South Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda. This was a follow-up to his first tour in November 2021, which included Nigeria, Kenya and Senegal.

During his first stop in South Africa, Blinken outlined the US’ “new strategy” towards sub-Saharan Africa, stating that Washington sees African states as “equal partners” in its efforts to tackle global challenges such as combating COVID-19 and climate change. He added that “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… It’s a strategy that reflects the region’s complexity, its diversity, its agency; and one that focuses on what we will do with…

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