Headline RoundupAugust 8th, 2022

Blinken Promotes Democracy During Sub-Saharan Africa Tour

AllSides Summary

Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday advocated for "the promise of democracy" during the first major speech of his three-nation tour of Africa.

While speaking at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, Blinked acknowledged the Sub-Saharan Africa region as "a major geopolitical force" and divulged that the Biden administration would find new ways to "reinvest" in African militaries. He also outlined "shared priorities" for U.S. relations with African nations such as recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, addressing the "climate crisis," expanding energy access and "revitalizing democracies." 

Following a recent visit from Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Blinken’s Africa tour symbolizes the escalating competition between the U.S. and Russia over influence on the continent. While Blinken pointed to Putin's ongoing invasion of Ukraine as a primary catalyst of the food crisis occurring in Africa, he reaffirmed that the U.S. won't ask African governments to pick sides in its ongoing conflicts with other superpowers like Russia and China.

The Guardian (Lean Left bias) emphasized that Washington previously "appeared uninterested" in the sub-Saharan Africa region, while the National Interest (Center bias) noted that the U.S. has "historically had problems" retaining a long-term strategy toward Africa. One report from Breitbart (Right bias) argued that Blinken's speech "ignored" critical issues such as the looming threat of China, crime and "economic stagnation."

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