US treasury boss heads for Africa

United States (US) Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen

THE United States (US) Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen’s visit to Senegal, Zambia and South Africa from January17 to 28, 2023 has been confirmed by the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Public Affairs,  NewsDay Weekender has learnt.

“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 and promoting sustainable and inclusive economic growth,” said the US Treasury Department yesterday.

Yellen met, on December 15 at the US-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington DC, Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema and, separately, President Macky Sall of Senegal and the chairperson of the African Union.

According to senior US Treasury officials, Yellen’s itinerary first stop will be Senegal.

In Zambia, on January 23, in addition to meeting Hichilema, Yellen will meet Minister of Finance Situmbeko Musokotwane and the Governor of the Bank of Zambia, Denny H Kalyalya

Part of the focus on this segment of the itinerary will be to “promote climate-resilient agriculture and food production, as well as to mitigate the global spillover effects of Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine”.

On January 24, Yellen will be in South Africa for bilateral meetings “including with Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana, and the South Africa Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago.”

“During her travel, the Secretary will also underscore the spillover effects of Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine, which have disproportionately hurt developing countries in Africa and globally.

“The Secretary will note the steps the US has taken to boost food security, including through over US$13,5 billion in assistance, a call for international financial institutions to develop and implement an Action Plan to Address Food Insecurity and new support to the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program,” senior treasury officials said.

Last December, Yellen’s cabinet ministry, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designated four Zimbabwean individuals and two Zimbabwean entities, and removed 17 Zimbabweans from the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List,” one day before the start of the US-Africa Leaders Summit.

At the summit, US President Joe Biden, “announced over US$15 billion in two-way trade and investment commitments, deals and partnerships”.

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