United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, will meet with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, during his first virtual trip to Africa since US President Joe Biden came into office.
Strengthening democratic governance, building lasting security, and promoting economic ties and diversification, will top agenda at the meeting, according to Blinken’s spokesman, Ned Price.
From Boko Haram insurgency to banditry, kidnapping, militancy, farmers-herders clashes, the security situation in Nigeria has worsened, especially in the last few months.
Price in a statement on Monday, said his principal will meet with Buhari and his Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, over some of the challenges confronting the West African nation.
The statement partly read, “Secretary Blinken will begin his virtual travel to Africa meeting with Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI) alumni. In a “Ten Questions with Tony” event, YALI alumni will have an opportunity to engage with the Secretary on a range of topics, including the role of youth in the future of Africa, economic development, democracy and good governance, climate change, and health.
“Through YALI, the United States works with public, private sector, and civil society partners across the continent to develop initiatives and economic opportunities to support the creativity, innovativeness, and energy of Africa’s youth.
“Secretary Blinken will then travel virtually to Nigeria, where he will underscore our shared goals of strengthening democratic governance, building lasting security, and promoting economic ties and diversification.
“People-to-people connections, underpinned by the dynamic Nigerian diaspora in the United States, amplify and strengthen our relationship. During his visit, Secretary Blinken will meet with President Buhari and Foreign Minister (Geoffrey Onyeama) to reiterate the value of our bilateral relationship and discuss issues of shared importance.
“Secretary Blinken will also participate in a health partnership event to underscore our collaboration to combat the pandemic as well as long-term US investments in combatting infectious diseases. He will meet with a beneficiary of a PEPFAR program and a Nigerian health care.