US’ Blinken vows cleaner business deals

The Biden administration has struck a different tone from the era of former president Donald Trump.

22 November 2021 | Economics

Too often, international infrastructure deals are opaque, coercive. – Anthony Blinken, US secretary of state

Libby George - The United States will do things differently in helping Africa build infrastructure needs, secretary of state Antony Blinken said on Friday, adding that too often big international deals were opaque and coercive.

Africa, which needs billions of dollars a year for roads, railways, dams and power, has over the last decade received funding from China, which generally does not tie the money to political or rights-related conditions.

In a speech laying out the Biden administration's policy approach to Africa, Blinken said it was time to stop treating the continent as a subject of geopolitics and see it as a major player on its own. He appealed to African leaders to guard against rising extremism, authoritarianism and corruption.

Without mentioning China by name, Blinken said Washington would be transparent and sustainable.

"Too often, international infrastructure deals are opaque, coercive. They burden countries with unmanageable debt. They're environmentally destructive. They don't always benefit the people who actually live there. We will do things differently," Blinken said during a visit to Nigeria.

The Biden administration has been criticised by some as inattentive to Africa: a common complaint about US foreign policy but one that rings louder now China has deepened its political and economic roots on the continent.

NEW TONE

The Biden administration has struck a different tone from the era of former president Donald Trump, who disparaged some African nations and barred travel from six of them.

Washington has rescinded that ban and dispatched diplomats to Ethiopia and Sudan to try to resolve conflicts. But complaints persist that the United States views Africa primarily in a negative light compared to China which talks of partnership.

"The US needs to drop the old posture of viewing Africa as just a problem to be solved," said Murithi Mutiga, project director for the Horn of Africa for International Crisis Group.

Blinken's trip comes days after a judicial panel issued a damning report into the shooting by Nigerian security forces of unarmed demonstrators during anti-police brutality protests in Lagos last year.

Some Nigerians have been quick to note that the United States has been more reticent about criticising their government – an ally in the fight against Islamist militants – than chiding Ethiopia or Sudan.

But Blinken said on Thursday authorities should hold to account Nigerian security forces accused of abuses.

Blinken warned that authoritarianism was on the rise around the world with internet freedom not guaranteed.

Nigeria suspended Twitter early this after a post by president Muhammadu Buhari was removed.

"Technology is being used to silence dissent and prosecute citizens. And democracies must answer the call to fight back against disinformation," he said.

The United States will continue to help Africa fight conflict and extremism, but not everything could be solved with more or better-equipped armed forces, as this sometimes led to violation of rights, contributing to grievances and perpetuating cycles of violence, Blinken said. – Nampa/Reuters

Similar News

 

An inclusive informal economy crucial

14 hours ago | Economics

PHILLEPUS UUSIKUThe informal sector in Namibia, which is regarded at the backbone of the economy, lacks formal recognition in policies, is unregulated and suffers from...

Omicron variant could outcompete Delta

14 hours ago | Economics

ALEXANDER WINNINGThe Omicron coronavirus variant detected in southern Africa could be the most likely candidate to displace the highly contagious Delta variant, the director of...

Trustco wants to delist from NSX, JSE

19 hours ago | Economics

Jo-Maré Duddy - Trustco Group Holdings has requested its shareholders to participate in a non-binding advisory vote to, among others, delist from the Johannesburg Stock...

Investors spooked

1 day - 01 December 2021 | Economics

Jo-Maré Duddy – If government gets its way, the Investment Promotion and Facilitation Bill will become law this week, giving the trade minister sole power...

The recovery of the rental market flatlined

1 day - 01 December 2021 | Economics

PHILLEPUS UUSIKUAlthough rental markets across most advanced economies are on a path of recovery due to the resumption of “normal life”, improved pace of Covid-19...

SA's Covid-19 cases could triple this week

1 day - 01 December 2021 | Economics

ALEXANDER WINNING AND WENDELL ROELFSouth Africa's daily Covid-19 infection rate could triple to more than 10 000 by the end of this week as the...

Global jet fuel demand under pressure

1 day - 01 December 2021 | Economics

Global jet fuel markets stayed under pressure on Tuesday as more countries expanded border restrictions to keep the new Omicron coronavirus variant at bay, prompting...

Omicron raises new fears for world economy

1 day - 01 December 2021 | Economics

Delphine Touitou - Just as it was recovering from the body blow of the Covid-19 pandemic, the global economy has taken yet another hit from...

Ethiopia lifts suspension of collateralised loans

1 day - 01 December 2021 | Economics

Ethiopia’s central bank has lifted a suspension of lending by commercial banks to their customers using collateral such as property, the bank said on Monday.The...

China leader promises Africa 1 bln doses

1 day - 01 December 2021 | Economics

China's president pledged to offer Africa one billion Covid-19 vaccine doses on Monday, with the continent struggling to acquire enough jabs to immunise against the...

Latest News

10 apprehended in exam leak

14 hours ago | Education

ESTER KAMATI WINDHOEKAt least 10 individuals have been taken into custody by the Namibian Police after examination papers were leaked ahead of...

Man who cooked wife in...

14 hours ago | Justice

JANA-MARI SMITH WINDHOEKA hearing to decide whether former chef Thomas Adolf Florin (54) – the man who butchered and cooked the...

Game of musical chairs

14 hours ago | Politics

STAFF REPORTER WINDHOEKThe Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) and Affirmative Repositioning’s (AR) 11th-hour announcement yesterday...

Global airlines prepare for Omicron

14 hours ago | Business

JAMIE FREED AND RAJESH KUMAR SINGHAirlines are bracing for a fresh round of volatility due to the Omicron variant of Covid-19 that could force them...

Omicron variant could outcompete Delta

14 hours ago | Economics

ALEXANDER WINNINGThe Omicron coronavirus variant detected in southern Africa could be the most likely candidate to displace the highly contagious Delta variant, the director of...

EDITORIAL: We must fight together

14 hours ago | Opinion

Once again, the flimsy sense of control humans love to think they have over the world and their environment has been brought to a sharp...

Covid-19 undercuts HIV fight

14 hours ago | Health

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEKThe latest World Aids Day report has cautioned that the curves...

SPYL welcomes public enterprise ministry’s...

14 hours ago | Politics

ESTER KAMATI WINDHOEKThe Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL), which convened in Grootfontein over...

Things to consider when buying...

14 hours ago | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKSeeds are an essential input resource that a farmer must procure to successfully grow crops.Agribank’s technical advisor for crops and poultry, Hanks Saisai, says...

Load More