#senegal : US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Saturday promised new investments in Senegal, offering them as a bonus to democracy in a country known for its stability during the final leg of his African tour.
During his visit to Senegal, Blinken signed deals worth billions of dollars with American companies, including a technology contract for public safety services and a project to improve traffic along better roads.
He also visited the Institut Pasteur in Dakar where he pledged to help Africans make their own vaccines.
“It’s a simple reality. We are not going to succeed without the leadership of African governments, institutions and citizens,” Blinken said.
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“The United States is committed to strengthening its partnership across the continent as it serves the interests of the people here (in Africa) and serves our own interests,” he said.
“We strongly believe that for a long time, it was necessary to treat African countries and institutions as major geopolitical pieces,” he said.
In a speech in Nigeria on Friday, Blinken said Africans do not have to choose between their allies, a sentiment shared by Senegalese Foreign Minister Esata Tall Sal.
“There are no alternatives. There are alternatives,” she said, before adding: “Africa is an opportunity. Our diplomacy is sovereign and excludes anyone. But we too. We have traditional friends and historical partners and we are not going to give up. Old for new.”
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Senegal has been one of the most stable African countries with many successful transitions over the years. But tensions have flared up between President Mackie Sal and his protests, especially after the arrest of a rival during riots in March, which has been rarely seen in this country for years.
“Senegal has long served as a democratic model in Africa,” Blinken said.
US support for the energy transition
“Like all democracies, including the United States, we cannot take it (of course), Senegal cannot take for democratic norms and institutions,” Blinken said.
He had, during the previous phase in Nigeria, attacked the then-incumbent president, the Capitol in Washington, on January 6 by supporters of Donald Trump, with the aim of overturning the outcome of elections that took Joe Biden to the White House. ,
Senegalese President Mackie Sall, who welcomed him during a lunch in Dakar on Saturday, showed that “he is a strong leader for democracy,” Blinken said.
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Furthermore, President Biden’s insistence, at the recent COP summit on climate change, for an energy transition without fossil fuels, provoked mixed reactions in the three countries Blinken visited: Kenya, Nigeria and Senegal.
The head of US diplomacy has pledged US support in this energy transition.
But in Kenya, in the first leg of the tour, there were noted attacks against respect for the environment, with Nigeria and Senegal relying on fossil fuels to improve their public finances. Dakar is also preparing to join the circle of producing countries.
Asked whether the world would make way for a completely solar and wind, Foreign Minister Tall Saal replied: “We don’t think that’s enough”.
“Today we have to accept gas as a form of conventional energy and we look forward to the support and understanding of the United States,” he said.
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