The United States President Joe Biden has initiated a big push to get involved with Africa and as the first step, US ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield will head to the world’s second-largest continent.
Thomas-Greenfield, is the second Cabinet member to do so.
According to the statement, made on Sunday, from the US Mission to the UN, she will travel to Ghana, Mozambique and Kenya starting January 25 “to affirm and strengthen our partnerships with key current and former UN Security Council members.”
Ahead of Thomas-Greenfield’s visit, a 10-day African visit by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen started last week. She first came to Senegal’s capital Dakar on late Wednesday but will also visit Zambia and South Africa.
In the US-Africa Leaders Summit in December, President Joe Biden had announced his visit to sub-Saharan Africa next year, that is 2023, which will be the first trip to the place by a US president in a decade.
Both the summit and trip have a motive of strengthening the US-Africa relations. This is highly strategic from the US view at a time when China has crossed the US in trade in Africa and is aiming to increase its military presence in the continent, and also as Russia shares military links with the authorities in Mali and Central African Republic.
Biden emphasized at the summit that he is very much concerned about raising the US focus to the continent and announced to the 49 African leaders attending the summit in Washington that “Africa belongs at the table” in every conversation of global consequences.
Thomas-Greenfield will first visit Ghana, which has a two-year term as an elected member of the UN Security Council and is currently serving in its second year. The US mission said that she will meet with women leaders and civil society representatives on January 25.
Thomas-Greenfield will then visit Mozambique, the East African country, which is in the initial year of its first-ever two-year term on the council.
The mission also said that on January 26-27 she will meet with UN officials, entrepreneurs, alumni of US exchange programs, international relations students and civil society members involved in efforts to adapt to climate change.
On her last leg of the African trip, the US ambassador will visit Kenya on January 28-29, the country whose two-year term on the council concluded on December 31.