Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken embarks on his first virtual trip to Africa |29 April 2021
Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken embarked on his first virtual trip to Africa, where he visited Kenya and Nigeria and engaged with young people from across the continent on April 27. Secretary Blinken began his virtual travel to Africa meeting with Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI) alumni.
In a “Ten Questions with Tony” event, YALI alumni had an opportunity to engage with the Secretary on a range of topics, including the role of youth in the future of Africa, economic development, democracy and good governance, climate change, and health.
Through YALI, the United States works with public, private sector, and civil society partners across the continent to develop initiatives and economic opportunities to support the creativity, innovativeness, and energy of Africa’s youth.
Secretary Blinken then travelled virtually to Nigeria, where he underscored our shared goals of strengthening democratic governance, building lasting security, and promoting economic ties and diversification.
People-to-people connections, underpinned by the dynamic Nigerian diaspora in the United States, amplify and strengthen our relationship.
During his visit, Secretary Blinken met with President Buhari and Foreign Minister Onyeama to reiterate the value of our bilateral relationship and discuss issues of shared importance.
Secretary Blinken also participated in a health partnership event to underscore our collaboration to combat the pandemic as well as long-term U.S. investments in combatting infectious diseases. He met with a beneficiary of a PEPFAR program and a Nigerian health care worker.
The Secretary’s virtual trip to Kenya celebrates our 57-year bilateral relationship. Secretary Blinken met with President Kenyatta and Cabinet Secretary Omamo to reaffirm our strategic partnership, discuss future cooperation to promote democracy and expand trade, and explore avenues to address global challenges, including climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Secretary also visited Kenyan-based renewable energy companies that, thanks in part to U.S. government engagement, are a model of innovative clean energy alternatives in Africa.
Finally, as part of our solidarity with Kenya amid the global pandemic, we highlighted a U.S.-donated Mobile Field Hospital to which the United States is providing essential Covid-19 medical supplies through AFRICOM and the Massachusetts National Guard’s State Partnership Program.
Mauritius and Seychelles are both part of the YALI Network, with 80 Mandela Washington Fellows in total.
The accompanying photos show highlights of Secretary Blinken’s virtual trip.