US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen kicked off a 10-day visit to Africa this week with a speech in Senegal that called out Russia for the stress its war on Ukraine was putting on African nations, and China for its reluctance to offer debt relief to struggling African economies. Her trip, which will include stops in Zambia and South Africa, is aimed at demonstrating how the US government and businesses can support the continent.
In Senegal’s capital Dakar Yellen met with a group of female entrepreneurs, Axios reports. In Zambia, she is expected to address the country’s debt crisis. And in South Africa, she will address US efforts to assist the country with its transition to renewable energy.
The trip comes as the US attempts to counter growing Chinese and Russian influence. China owns 12% of Africa’s public and private external debt, according to London-based think tank Chatham House, significantly more than any other lender. And Russia has won influence with its mercenary Wagner Group, which some African countries have brought in to enforce stability.