BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - THE US Government continues its push to foster stronger relations with Africa, and it is further developing through the latest visit by Secretary of States Anthony Blinken who is currently in Cabo Verde.
Blinken began his trip in the port city of Praia, where he witnessed work and development at the location which is seen as the gateway to Africa for many Western countries.
“One of the things I’m very proud of is the fact that, thanks to the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), the United States was able to invest significantly in modernizing and upgrading this port so that its capacity was dramatically expanded in terms of the number of ships that it could bring in, the efficiency of the port also dramatically increased so that ships could be processed much more quickly, the storage capacity around the port also built up, and all of that has created an incredibly vibrant place and a much stronger gateway to Africa for us and for so many other countries,” Secretary Blinken told reporters.
The United States is currently being challenged on the continent because of the expansion of China’s relations within the area. In recent times, the African Development Bank had reiterated that the Asian nation has deepened its relations with the continent.
CNN, in reports published last year, confirmed that the Chinese have been pouring billions of dollars into infrastructure development in the continent.
Blinken, during his visit to the port, spoke to the expansion work and the benefits that were derived, noting that the project has produced jobs in Cabo Verde.
“And we’re also seeing Cabo Verde become increasingly a destination for tourism, for cruise ships, all of that thanks to work that was done in large part through the Millennium Challenge Corporation. Cabo Verde is the only country in the world to have completed two Millennium Challenge Corporation compacts, and now it’s embarking on a third, but a third that will really focus on regional connectivity and on integration and strengthening ties economically among countries in West Africa.”
The MCC is an international development initiative formed by the Bush administration back in 2004, which was geared towards poverty reduction, according to the agency’s website.
Africa has been seen by some international analysts as being the neglected continent, but Blinken reaffirmed the United States’ commitment as was pledged in the US-Africa Summit.
“And it’s further evidence of the fact that, as President Biden said, the United States is all in with Africa. We see Africa as an essential, critical, central part of our future. The partnerships between the United States and Africa were a big focus of the work that we did at the Africa Leaders Summit in Washington and, most important, the work that we continue to do ever since that summit in following through on the commitments and the agreements that were made there.”
He added: “This trip is a big part of that, and it really does focus on President Biden’s commitment and conviction that the United States and Africa are joined in partnership for the future. So thanks very much and glad to be able to bring you to the port.”
The US Secretary continued his trip with stops in Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, and Angola.