WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s office announced Friday that she will travel to South Africa, Zambia and Senegal in January, part of a series of official visits to sub-Saharan Africa by the Biden administration next year for the first time.
The world’s second largest continent is vital to the global economy because of its fast-growing population and rich natural resources. China has deepened its economic entanglement in African countries, surpassing the United States in trade with Africa to become one of the world’s largest creditor countries, and it is also the driving force for the United States to deepen its relations with African countries.
President Joe Biden Thursday Announce At a U.S. summit with African leaders, he plans to visit the region next year, as do Vice President Kamala Harris, first lady Jill Biden and several cabinet secretaries.
Yellen, who will be visiting Africa from Jan. 17-28, has spoken publicly at length about China’s financing practices on the continent, saying they ” Economic practices that disadvantage us all“
Zambia, for example, is renegotiating its nearly $6 billion debt with its largest creditor, China. During a closed-door meeting with Zambian President Hakaind Hichilema at a summit of African leaders on Thursday, Yellen said they discussed “the need to address debt sustainability and the need to complete Zambia’s debt process.” .
Yellen will also discuss the spillover effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Africa’s food supplies, the Treasury Department said.Other topics will include how the U.S. can work with African leaders to advance the energy transition, take into account the impact of climate change in Africa, and prepare for future pandemics through the announced pandemic fund in june.
At this week’s summit, Biden announced plans to spend $2 billion to help increase food security on the continent.