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Blinken says U.S. investing in Africa without unsustainable debt

EconomyNov 20, 2021 08:21PM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. U.S Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks with members of the civil society at the U.S. Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria November 19, 2021. Andrew Harnik/Pool via REUTERS 2/2

By Bate Felix

DAKAR (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Saturday his country was investing in Africa without imposing unsustainable levels of debt, as he witnessed the signing of contracts worth more than $1 billion in Senegal's capital Dakar.

The deals between four U.S. companies and Senegal are being billed as part of his country's pitch to help Africa build infrastructure with transparent and sustainable deals.

Careful not to directly criticise Chinese infrastructure projects, which have proliferated across the continent in the past decade, Blinken said during a visit to Nigeria on Friday that international deals were too often opaque and coercive.

The U.S. is investing "without saddling the country with a debt that it cannot handle," he said during the signing ceremony with Senegal's Economy Minister Amadou Hott.

He said he had a deep concern for the stability of neighbouring Mali, which has experienced two coups in the last 18 months, and that the upcoming election there must follow a timetable drawn up by the regional bloc ECOWAS.

Earlier this month ECOWAS, West Africa's main political and economic bloc, imposed sanctions on Mali's transitional leaders, after they informed the organisation they would not be able to hold presidential and legislative elections in February.

"We look forward to resuming the full array of assistance as soon as this democratically elected government takes office," Blinken told reporters.

Reuters reported in September that Mali's military junta was in discussions about deploying a Russian military contractor, Wagner Group, in Mali to help fight a growing Islamist insurgency.

"It would be especially unfortunate if outside actors engaged in making things even more difficult and more complicated and I'm thinking particularly of groups like the Wagner Group," Blinken said.

'ILLUSORY PROVOCATION'

Blinken said the U.S. has real concerns, widely shared with partners in Europe, over Russia's "unusual activity" at the Ukrainian border, after Ukraine said it feared Russia might be preparing an attack.

"We do know the playbook of trying to cite some illusory provocation from Ukraine or any other country and using that as an excuse to do what Russia was planning to do all along," Blinken said.

Intensive diplomacy was ongoing to end civil conflict in Ethiopia, he said, where Washington continues to push for an immediate end to hostilities without preconditions and humanitarian access to millions of people in the north.

During a visit to Dakar's Institute Pasteur bio-medical research center, Blinken said the United States was working with partners to generate more financing for vaccine manufacturing in Senegal.

In October BioNTech signed an agreement with the Institut Pasteur de Dakar and the Rwandan government to construct the first mRNA vaccine facilities in Africa, starting in mid-2022.

Blinken says U.S. investing in Africa without unsustainable debt
 

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Comments (11)
Nordin Mohamad
Nordin Mohamad Nov 21, 2021 12:22AM ET
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just what happen to china when usa help ccp to become rich since 40 years ago, now they become super monster created by usa now biting usa and make biden their lunch...the same thing could happen to africa some where 40 years in future...
Paul Wu
Paul Wu Nov 21, 2021 12:16AM ET
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only US investing in US with unsustainable debt
Scott Patterson
Scott Patterson Nov 20, 2021 1:24PM ET
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Meanwhile, the United States has been largely deindustrialized, it has no border control at all whatsoever, its roads, highways, and bridges are all crumbling and in disrepair, its major cities are crime-infested slums, and it is running a national debt approaching $29 Trillion USD. But hey, let’s print more fiat and give it all away to foreign countries and call ourselves a “superpower!” American leaders are a bad joke.
Stephen Fa
Stephen Fa Nov 20, 2021 12:55PM ET
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The USA's own debt is unsustainable with direction of social spending, taxes, and economic growth.
Franco Dominguez
Franco Dominguez Nov 20, 2021 12:17PM ET
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debt??? the cobalt, gold and diamonds for usa fees, isnt an debt interest???
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Nov 20, 2021 12:17PM ET
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The Dutch owns africa diamonds: Gold, canadian n austilian. Cobalt n rare metal, Chinese owns it.
Тони Chuk
Тони Chuk Nov 20, 2021 12:17PM ET
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Kaveh Sun you forget France and England too
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Nov 20, 2021 11:56AM ET
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Why usa keeps wasting money in that place? They turn their back anyway. Their only royalty is money. China is trying to buy them. The moment money stop, they betray
David David
David9 Nov 20, 2021 10:50AM ET
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Braaaahahahahhaa....🥣 🦀
Felipe Daniel
Felipe Daniel Nov 20, 2021 8:46AM ET
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Trump did not prohibit travel to African countries Reuters, only countries with ongoing armed conflicts like Yemen.
New Jazenevd
New Jazenevd Nov 20, 2021 8:46AM ET
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This reference was just another propaganda trick from Reuters.
Alphonse Rutayisire
Alphonse Rutayisire Nov 20, 2021 8:46AM ET
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Not travel to, but travel from...
Michael Mcdonough
Michael Mcdonough Nov 20, 2021 8:26AM ET
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The U.S. isn’ t investing..it’s U.S. companies thank you..It’s called free enterprise and not socialism Mr. Blinken.
Mark Wash
Mark Wash Nov 20, 2021 7:52AM ET
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"without saddling the country with a debt that it cannot handle," Last time i checked thats where the US gets its natural recources from. Just say your tryin to colonize africa and be done with it.
New Jazenevd
New Jazenevd Nov 20, 2021 7:36AM ET
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Criticizing Chinese masters openly is not allowed. Kowtowing slaves in WH.
David David
David9 Nov 20, 2021 7:36AM ET
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Explain why...
New Jazenevd
New Jazenevd Nov 20, 2021 7:36AM ET
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David David  “ Careful not to directly criticise Chinese infrastructure projects, which have proliferated across the continent in the past decade, Blinken said during a visit to Nigeria on Friday that international deals were too often opaque and coercive.”
 
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