Dakar, Senegal U.S. Embassy
US Secretary Antony J. Blinken :
Because when we think about the big issues that we face before us, whether climate , or the pandemic, or building inclusive economies for everyone, or defending democracy, we can’t do it without Africa. In 25 or 30 years, one in four people on our planet will be from Africa. Africa is indispensable. And Senegal is a key partner for the United States because we have the same values. We have the desire to work together. And I’m going back to Washington, with great enthusiasm to build these partnerships for the future because I know it’s good for the United States and I believe it’s good for Africans as well, and either way we must find ways to support each other and move forward together.
It starts with this. Because there is a need for infrastructure around the world, especially in Africa. Enormous amounts of money are needed to do this, but it’s not just the resources that you devote to it that matter, it’s how you use them. And for us, it is very important that the people who benefit first are the people on the ground in the country in question and not others. It’s important that these investments are made in a way that benefits the local community, that the country in question, our partners, are not in debt and in a situation where in the future it is impossible to repay this debt. It’s important that we move forward with regard to the environment, the rights of workers, and that we make things that will last, things of good quality. And above all, that investments are not only in what we call “hardware,” but also in “software” – in human beings and especially in the exchange of knowledge and abilities. Because the goal, in fact, is ultimately that the problems and opportunities in Africa are to be resolved first by Africans and for that we need not only a sharing of infrastructure but also of knowledge. That’s true partnership.