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Secretary Blinken’s Remarks Following Visit to Porto de Praia

It’s wonderful to be here in Cabo Verde and the port of Praia.  We start this trip to Africa here in Cabo Verde because it is quite literally a gateway to Africa for countries around the world, including for the United States.  And a big part of that gateway is this port.  One of the things I’m very proud of is the fact that, thanks to the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the United States was able to invest significantly in modernizing and upgrading this port so that its capacity was dramatically expanded in terms of the number of ships that it could bring in, the efficiency of the port also dramatically increased so that ships could be processed much more quickly, the storage capacity around the port also built up, and all of that has created an incredibly vibrant place and a much stronger gateway to Africa for us and for so many other countries.

We also see that in the fact that this expansion project has produced jobs right here in Cabo Verde.  And we’re also seeing Cabo Verde become increasingly a destination for tourism, for cruise ships, all of that thanks to work that was done in large part through the Millennium Challenge Corporation.  Cabo Verde is the only country in the world to have completed two Millennium Challenge Corporation compacts, and now it’s embarking on a third, but a third that will really focus on regional connectivity and on integration and strengthening ties economically among countries in West Africa.

So we couldn’t be more pleased and more proud for this partnership with Cabo Verde, and it seems like a very fitting place to start this trip to Africa that’ll take us now to Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, and on to Angola.  And it’s further evidence of the fact that, as President Biden said, the United States is all in with Africa.  We see Africa as an essential, critical, central part of our future.  The partnerships between the United States and Africa were a big focus of the work that we did at the Africa Leaders Summit in Washington and, most important, the work that we continue to do ever since that summit in following through on the commitments and the agreements that were made there.  This trip is a big part of that, and it really does focus on President Biden’s commitment and conviction that the United States and Africa are joined in partnership for the future.  So thanks very much and glad to be able to bring you to the port.