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Blinken visit to South Africa, says the US won’t dictate Africa

Umamah Bakharia 

US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken during his stop in South Africa, earlier this week says the US wants to strengthen the economic ties between the two countries.

Blinken landed in South Africa on Sunday to meet with South African counterpart, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor as part of his Sub African tour.

On the agenda for Blinken and Pandor was climate change, health, infrastructure, trade and investments.

This has been the first strategic dialogue between South Africa and the US in seven years. The last dialogue occurred in 2015 when former International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana Mashabane visited the US to meet former US Secretary of State John Kerry.

On Blinkens brief visit to Pretoria, he outlined the US government “new strategy” to strengthen ties in South Africa and the African continent at large.

The new strategy states that the two nations should foster openness. “The US will not dictate Africa’s choices and neither will anyone else,” says Blinken.

Adding that the US will be working with African partners to ensure democracy by ensuring peaceful transition of power and clamping down on miscommunication.

He says the US wants to work together with African countries after the devastation Covid-19 had around the globe while also focusing on a clean energy transition.

Meanwhile, Pandor described the US as one of South Africa’s important partners. 

“I believe this is a strategic partnership based on common values, and is the foundation of strengthening bilateral engagements between our two countries. Our gathering here after a quiet period of almost seven years, presents an opportunity to reintegrate on various fronts. I believe we should place the economic recovery in Africa [at] the front and centre of our agenda,” says Pandor.

The US Secretary will be making stops in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda before heading back to the US.


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