U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Angola yesterday, wrapping up a four-nation tour of African countries that also included Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria. The trip marks Blinken’s fourth visit to sub-Saharan Africa as secretary of state. (New York Times)
Although overshadowed in the headlines this week, Blinken’s tour in Africa is a small part of a big story, the latest signal from Washington that the Biden administration is committed to repairing U.S. relations with African countries via more sustained diplomatic engagement and a reimagined Africa policy.
On the former promise, U.S. President Joe Biden has largely delivered. Washington hosted a U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in December 2022, and since then a parade of U.S. officials have visited the continent, including Blinken, VP Kamala Harris, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, first lady Jill Biden and the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Biden himself, however, has yet to visit Africa as president, despite a promise that he would do so in 2023.