US Secretary of State Blinken cautions Africa on China

United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday used a virtual session with African youth to call for more opportunities for the young on the continent, and issued an indirect jab at China’s opaque operations.

In a virtual meeting with the alumni of Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), Mr Blinken said Africa’s youthful population will remain its biggest resource, as long as governments run programmes that are inclusive and provide opportunities.

“We know that to really feel engaged and to really be inspired, people need to feel that they’re being heard – because speaking into a void can be an incredibly frustrating exercise.

“So I think young voices are critical to any political discourse, for example, on electoral and constitutional reforms.  And that’s certainly true in the run-up to elections in 2022 in Kenya,” he told a group of YALI alumni scattered across the continent in countries including Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Cape Verde.

Blinken called for open democratic governance, and inclusivity in order to contribute to the growth of African economies.

“No one has monopoly of ideas. We need to listen to new ideas… and I just hope that the African youth can have open ears and open minds.”