US ambassador on his way to Africa as part of Biden’s big push

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UNITED NATIONS (TBEN) — U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield is the second cabinet member to go to Africa as part of President Joe Biden’s major move to engage with the world’s second-largest continent. world.

The US mission to the UN said on Sunday it will travel to Ghana, Mozambique and Kenya starting Jan. 25 “to reaffirm and strengthen our partnerships with key current and former members of the UN Security Council.”

Thomas-Greenfield’s visit follows the start last week of a 10-day visit to Africa by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. She arrived in Dakar, Senegal late on Wednesday and will also visit Zambia and South Africa.

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Biden announced at the end of a summit between US-Africa leaders in December that he will visit sub-Saharan Africa in 2023, the first trip to the region by a US leader in a decade.

The summit and trip are aimed at strengthening US relations with Africa, where China has overtaken the US in trade and is looking to increase its military presence, and Russia has military ties with authorities in Mali and the Central African Republic.

Biden stressed at the summit that he is serious about increasing American attention to the continent, telling the 49 African leaders who attended the Washington meeting that “Africa belongs at the table” in any conversation about global impacts.

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The first stop for Thomas-Greenfield, a former US Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, is Ghana, which is in its second year of a two-year term as an elected member of the Security Council. She will meet with women leaders and civil society representatives on January 25, the US mission said.

Thomas-Greenfield will next head to Mozambique, which is just starting its first-ever two-year term on the council.

During its visit on Jan. 26 and 27, the U.S. mission said it will meet with UN officials, entrepreneurs, alumni of U.S. exchange programs, international relations students and members of civil society concerned with climate change adaptation, the mission said.

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The ambassador’s last stop on January 28 and 29 is Kenya, whose two-year term on the council ended on December 31.

The US mission called Kenya “an important partner” and said Thomas-Greenfield’s visit will focus on humanitarian programs, including the regional response to drought and aid to refugees, and on “the impact that Russia’s war against Ukraine continues to have on global food security, which has exacerbated the humanitarian crisis in the region.”

The ambassador will also meet with refugees awaiting resettlement in the United States and Kenya-based entrepreneurs “at the forefront of the country’s transition to a green economy,” the mission said.