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The Real Challenge Facing Antony Blinken in Africa

Security and infrastructure development are expected to top the agenda of U.S. Secretary of State Antony's Blinken four-nation visit to Africa that got underway on Sunday. File image by EVELYN HOCKSTEIN / POOL / AFP.

It has become customary, as the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken tours Africa, to rebuff journalists’ endless questions about China. Senior officials have made it clear that, unlike the Trump era, the Biden administration doesn’t want to put China threat narratives at the heart of their engagement with Africa.

Instead, they are eager to present the U.S.-Africa relationship as carrying its own intrinsic value. As Molly Phee, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, said: “If China didn’t exist, we would be fully engaged in Africa. Africa is important for its own sake, and it’s important for American interests.”

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