Yellen’s Visit Continues the U.S. Charm Offensive in Africa

Yellen’s Visit Continues the U.S. Charm Offensive in Africa
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and South African Minister of Finance Enoch Godongwana meet at the National Treasury in Pretoria, South Africa, Jan. 26, 2023 (AP photo by Themba Hadebe).

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen completed a recent three-country trip across Africa this week that saw stops in the continent’s west and south. The visit sought to expand economic ties between the United States and Africa, following Washington’s much-touted desire to “reset” relations with the continent. Yellen also discussed energy, food security, debt and infrastructure in the three countries she visited—Senegal, Zambia and South Africa—echoing the Biden administration’s messaging of renewed commitment to African security and prosperity.

Last August, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken unveiled Washington’s “Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa” during a three-nation tour of the continent. Four months later, U.S. President Joe Biden hosted African leaders in the second U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. During that gathering, Biden declared that the United States was “all in” on Africa’s future, adding that “Africa belongs at the table” of major global conversations. He pledged to visit the continent in 2023, although he did not give details about when and where that trip will take place.

Yellen’s 10-day trip began in Senegal, where she met with senior government officials including President Macky Sall, the outgoing chairperson of the African Union. She also visited a U.S.-funded business incubator for Senegalese women, where Yellen reiterated Biden’s stated commitment to African countries. “The United States is all in on Africa, and all in with Africa,” she said. “And our engagement is not transactional. It’s not for show. And it’s not for the short term.” To back up the administration’s outreach efforts, Yellen launched a new U.S.-backed rural electrification project that aims to provide reliable electricity to more than 350,000 people in Senegal.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article as well as three free articles per month. You'll also receive our free email newsletter to stay up to date on all our coverage:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having your own personal researcher and analyst for news and events around the globe. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of 15,000+ articles
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday
  • Weekly in-depth reports on important issues and countries
  • Daily links to must-read news, analysis, and opinion from top sources around the globe, curated by our keen-eyed team of editors
  • Your choice of weekly region-specific newsletters, delivered to your inbox.
  • Smartphone- and tablet-friendly website.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.

More World Politics Review