The United States has restated commitment to strengthen its partnership with Nigeria and other African countries.
The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, in an address at the ECOWAS Commission in Abuja, Nigeria, said US considers Africa a “Major geopolitical power” where it seeks to deliver infrastructural projects in ways that serve the interests of all.
Blinken said many infrastructure deals “Burden countries with unmanageable debt”, explained that American approach at bridging infrastructural deficits would be sustainable, transparent, values-driven.
According to the US Secretary of State, “Our commitment to inclusive growth is behind our Build Back Better World initiative, which aims to help close the global infrastructure gap.
“We want to create local jobs and benefit local communities.
We support anti-corruption and transparency measures, so leaders and citizens can evaluate whether deals made on their behalf really are worth it.
And we want to protect workers and the environment.
“Too often, international infrastructure deals are opaque, coercive; they burden countries with unmanageable debt; they’re environmentally destructive; they don’t always benefit the people who actually live there.
We will do things differently.
The top US diplomat said he knew countries across Africa were wary of the strings that come with international engagement and feared that in a world of sharper rivalries among major powers, countries will be forced to choose.
Blinken assured that the US would not limit African partnerships with other countries.
“We want to make your partnerships with us even stronger.
We don’t want to make you choose.
We want to give you choices.
Together, we can deliver real benefits to our people, on the issues that matter most to them,” he said.
He said too often, African countries had been unfairly treated as junior partners, or worse rather than equal ones.
The United States, he said, firmly believed that it’s time to stop treating Africa as a subject of geopolitics – and start treating it as the major geopolitical player it has become.
“We’re sensitive to centuries of colonialism, slavery, exploitation that have left painful legacies that endure today.
The US Secretary of States explained that the potential of renewal energy in Africa could not be found anywhere adding that Africa will shape the future.
Blinken also disclosed that the United States was working towards five areas of development partnership including global health, inclusive growth, climate change, democracy and security.
He said the United States has set up a climate response fund of 3 billion dollars every, to combat climate related issues.
On containing COVID-19 in Africa, Mr.
Blinken said the United States was working with Senegal and South Africa towards empowering the two countries to start producing vaccines locally.
Mr Blinken who is visiting Nigeria for the second this year said the democratic challenges faced by African countries was not just peculiar to the continent alone.
United States to strengthen partnership with Nigeria, Africa