Blinken Kicks off Four-Nation Africa Tour

Image copyright: US Department of State via Wikimedia Commons

The Facts

  • US Sec. of State Antony Blinken began a tour of West Africa on Monday, visiting Cape Verde, the Ivory Coast, Nigeria, and Angola to strengthen ties with African democracies amid major global conflicts and a deteriorating security situation in the Sahel.

  • On his first stop in the Portuguese-speaking archipelago of Cape Verde, Blinken noted that the US's future and prosperity are linked to those of the African nations, which he said played an increasingly significant global role. He also stressed that Washington "is committed to deepening, strengthening, and broadening partnerships across Africa."

The Spin

Pro-establishment narrative

Blinken's return to Africa proves that Washington understands Africa's growing relevance to its future. Washington's primary concern is not to combat the influence of China and Russia on the continent but to promote stability and democratic rule in Africa while protecting its interests through mutually beneficial cooperation. The US has much to offer Africa, and Blinken's visit proves that the US model of freedom and prosperity has not lost its appeal. The US government is pursuing a forward-looking policy of political and economic cooperation that will benefit Africa, the US, and the international community.

Establishment-critical narrative

Blinken's Africa charm offensive primarily serves the goal of containing the constantly expanding Chinese and Russian influence over the Africa continent. Washington's actions are thus motivated by geopolitical considerations, with African governments' interests playing only a subordinate role in this zero-sum game. The US has never bothered whether a country is "democratic" or not, as long as its interests are served, and, unlike China, the US lacks a pragmatic, long-term, and therefore credible Africa policy at eye level. For too long, the West has seen Africa as its backyard, but the continent will no longer bow to hypocritical power politics.

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