Sharp Focus

US – Amid new sanctions on Eritrea, Blinken to make first visit to Africa

By Julian Pecquet

Premium badge Reserved for subscribers

Posted on November 12, 2021 17:28

US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken meets with Qatari Deputy Prime Minister
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington, DC on November 12 , 2021. Olivier Douliery/Pool via REUTERS

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will make his first official visit to Africa next week as the Joe Biden administration looks to defuse the conflict in Ethiopia and reverse the military coup in Sudan.

The three-nation trip between 15 November and 20 November will take America’s top diplomat to Kenya, Nigeria and Senegal on a mission that the State Department says is meant to highlight the “depth and breadth of our relationships with African partners.”

Efforts by President Joe Biden’s administration to revitalise democracy on the continent will be a central focus of the trip, amid a flurry of coups in Sudan, Mali and Guinea this year and inroads that Russia and China are making into Africa. The three countries Blinken will be visiting are among the 17 African nations invited to next month’s Summit for Democracy, according to a leaked list of invitees.

East Africa stop

While the Horn of Africa isn’t on the itinerary, the crises there will be top of mind when Blinken meets with President Uhuru Kenyatta and Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo of Kenya, which is one of three

There's more to this story

Get unlimited access to our exclusive journalism and features today. Our award-winning team of correspondents and editors report from over 54 African countries, from Cape Town to Cairo, from Abidjan to Abuja to Addis Ababa. Africa. Unlocked.

Subscribe Now

cancel anytime