Washington, 14 December. United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday pledged investments to improve African countries’ commercial infrastructure and reduce their economic dependence outside the continent.
“As we have seen over the years, African countries have more trade with countries outside Africa than with countries in Africa,” said the head of US diplomacy during the summit of African leaders held in Washington. “
Blinken attended a presentation of a $504 million investment from the US government to improve connectivity between the port of Cotonou in Benin with neighboring Niger.
The Secretary of State assured that such investments would help increase trade between African countries and reduce their dependence on foreign countries, something he described as a “central pillar” of the Joe Biden administration’s policy towards the African continent .
Blinken said, “Benin and Niger are two of the fastest growing economies in sub-Saharan Africa. Their relationship is designed to accelerate economic growth, strengthen trade and transportation infrastructure, and connect their countries, their industries and their people.” Will help.”
At the event, Benin’s President Patrice Tallon thanked the US government for the gesture, but asked for help promoting investment by private companies in African countries.
He said that despite all the efforts of African countries, “the number of American private companies in Africa is small.”
“Growth cannot come only from investment in infrastructure and basic needs. To make growth a reality, we need investment from the private sector,” claimed Tallon.
For his part, Niger’s President Mohamed Bazoum thanked the United States for its investment and promised “institutional reforms” in his country to increase trade flows.
“We see the United States as a partner that pays attention to our needs and helps us pursue our interests,” he stressed.
The President of the United States, Joe Biden, this week attended a summit of 49 leaders and representatives from Africa in Washington, with which he intends to counterbalance Chinese and Russian influence on the African continent.