"As we have seen for years, African countries have more trade with countries outside Africa than with countries in Africa. This is not normal", said the head of US diplomacy during the Summit of African leaders taking place in Washington .
Blinken participated in the presentation of a US$504 million investment by the Government of the United States of America (USA) to improve connectivity between the port of Cotonou, in Benin, and Niger, a neighboring country.
The Secretary of State assured that this type of investment will help to increase trade between African countries and reduce their dependence on the outside, something that he pointed out as a “central pillar” of Joe Biden’s executive policy for the continent. African.
"Benin and Niger are two of the fastest growing economies in sub-Saharan Africa. Their relationship will help drive economic growth, strengthen trade and transport infrastructure, and connect their nations, their industries and their people," said Blinken.
At the event, the President of Benin, Patrice Talon, thanked the US Government for the gesture, but asked it to help boost investment by private companies in African countries.
The head of state lamented that, despite all the efforts of African countries, "the number of North American private companies in Africa is low". “Development cannot come only from investments in infrastructure and basic needs. For growth to be real, we need private sector investment,” said Talon.
For his part, the President of Niger, Mohamed Bazoum, thanked the US investments and promised "institutional reforms" in his country to increase trade flows. "We see the United States as a partner that meets our needs and helps us meet our interests," he emphasized.
Joe Biden will receive until Thursday, in Washington, 49 African leaders in a summit with which he intends to counteract Chinese and Russian influence on the African continent.
Also this Wednesday, the US Secretary of Energy, Jennifer Granholm, and the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and Ambassador for International Security, Bonnie D. Jenkins, announced during the Summit the additional support of the US to the initiative "Rays of Hope" of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
"Up to $4 million in funding will support the Agency's Rays of Hope initiative, aimed at expanding access to life-saving cancer radiotherapy treatments in Africa," the US executive announced.
João Lourenço, present at the Summit since Tuesday, participated in the debate on financing African infrastructure and energy transition.
The President of the Republic, according to a press release from the Presidency, indicated that within a period of four to five years, Angola should have approximately 80 percent of its energy matrix based on clean, non-polluting sources, specifically energy produced from hydroelectric and of solar plants.