Politics, Africa

US Secretary of State meets Senegalese officials

Antony Blinken's visit marked by investment agreement signings, meeting with Senegalese women entrepreneurs

Aurore Bonny   | 21.11.2021
US Secretary of State meets Senegalese officials

DOUALA, Cameroon

Senegalese authorities received US Secretary of State Antony Blinken early Saturday who is on a trip to strengthen relations between the two countries.

"I had the pleasure to receive Secretary of State Antony Blinken. The United States and Senegal have a long tradition of friendly relations based on shared values. I look forward to working with President (Joe) Biden to strengthen these special ties," said Senegal President Macky Sall.

During the visit, which marks the end of an African tour with stops in Kenya and Nigeria, Blinken witnessed, along with Senegalese Minister of Economy Amadou Hott, the signing of four Memoranda of Understanding worth $1 billion in US investment.

The agreements include a project to deploy critical network services for public safety and the construction of a strategic highway between Dakar and Saint-Louis, known locally as Ndar.

It also will see the deployment of 375 lights in the capital and the construction of a bridge in Ziguinchor.

This is "an important step in strengthening the strong partnership between Senegal and the United States," said Hott.

The US is proud that American technology is being used to help meet Senegal's climate, technology and infrastructure needs, according to State Department spokesman Ned Price.

The Secretary of State also met Senegalese women entrepreneurs.

The conversation was "energizing," said Blinken. "This dynamic and talented group of change-makers is helping to ensure that gender parity is at the forefront of economic and technological opportunities across Senegal.”

The US Department of Political-Military Affairs said Friday that American special operations forces have concluded two training exercises with Senegalese forces.

Blinken praised the security cooperation with "a key partner for peace and security in West Africa and the broader region," and described Senegal as "a leader in promoting regional peace and security through its strong contributions to the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations."

As part of his African tour, Blinken said: "The United States under the Biden-Harris administration believes it is time to stop treating Africa as a geopolitical issue and start treating it as the major geopolitical player it has become."

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