Yellen heads to Africa next month in US push to strengthen ties


Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will travel to Africa in January, deepening the Biden administration’s engagement with the continent amid a broader push to counter China’s influence in developing nations.

Yellen will have stops in Senegal, Zambia and South Africa during the Jan. 17-28 tour, the Treasury Department said in a statement Friday.

President Joe Biden, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo are also scheduled to visit African countries in the new year. The visits will follow the first summit of African leaders in Washington in six years.

Biden announced his plans this week as he hosted more than 40 heads of state from the continent.

“While in Africa, Secretary Yellen will highlight the Biden-Harris administration’s work to deepen US-Africa economic ties, including by expanding trade and investment flows,” the Treasury said.

Yellen’s visit to Zambia comes as that country is asking creditors to write off part of its outstanding debt that it’s struggling to repay since defaulting more than two years ago. The US has called out China for what Washington regards as insufficient debt relief for African borrowers including Zambia.

© 2022 Bloomberg L.P.

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