Under Secretary of State Jose W. Fernandez will travel to South Africa, August 7-8, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), August 9-10, to join Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken in engaging government officials, business, and members of civil society on our shared objectives of combatting climate change, food insecurity, and global pandemics, and promoting the United States’ support and investment for developing and securing more resilient supply chains, particularly with respect to critical minerals. The Under Secretary will focus on increased investment in Africa to further job growth, greater economic inclusion, and opportunity for citizens in the United States and across the continent.
In Pretoria, Under Secretary Fernandez will participate in the U.S.-South Africa Strategic Dialogue and co-chair sessions that will explore ways to deepen bilateral cooperation on climate and energy issues and strengthen economic ties to help us work together to address shared global challenges. These discussions with government officials will emphasize collaboration on regional economic development opportunities, building partnerships for more secure and resilient supply chains, and providing the education and training necessary to combat the climate crisis.
Under Secretary Fernandez will then travel to Kinshasa, where he will meet with the DRC ‘s ministries of mining, finance, and the environment to strengthen bilateral economic ties, improve our common efforts to combat climate change, and bolster critical mineral supply chains, which are essential to the technologies driving the world’s clean energy transition. The Under Secretary will reinforce our close ties through the U.S.-DRC Privileged Partnership for Peace, Prosperity, and Preservation of the Environment, and further strengthen our relationship on agriculture and food systems and nature conservation.