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Blinken opens new American Corner in Lagos

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Blinken opens new American Corner in Lagos

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The United States Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, has said the US will join hands with Nigeria to generate energy and tackle plastic pollution.

Blinken said the US mission in Nigeria would launch the Nigerian marine and blue economy, to develop solutions to economic and environmental challenges.

“Our own mission in Nigeria is working with our Congress to launch the Nigerian Marine and Blue Economy, a hackathon. We’ll bring together the government, the private sector, students to develop solutions to economic and environmental challenges, like addressing plastic pollution or using ocean currents to create energy,” he stated.

Blinken said this while unveiling the American Corners in the Lekki area of Lagos State on Wednesday.

American Corners serve as regional resource centres for information and programs highlighting American culture, history, current events, and government.

Speaking at the unveiling, Blinken said “it’s no secret to anyone that in the coming years one in four inhabitants of the planet will be from this continent, and so we would ignore Africa at our peril”.

While thinking about Africa, the US official said “Nigeria has to be front and centre,” saying  “It’s the largest country.  It’s the largest economy.  It’s the largest democracy.  It is a natural partner for the United States”.

Blinken noted that both countries are working together, “trying to address the climate crisis that’s affecting all of us in different ways, developing artificial intelligence for good, accelerating inclusive economic growth”.

He said, “All of that is strengthened powerfully by one thing, and that is the tens of thousands of Americans who are here in Nigeria working, studying, coming together with Nigerians around joint ventures, and the more than 500,000 Nigerian Americans who are such a powerful part of our own community.”

According to him, this American Corner in Lekki, will “reinforce that incredibly vibrant relationship between our countries and between our peoples”.

He added that “Nigeria has more American Spaces than any other African country, 24 locations in 21 cities, 4,400 programs reaching 100,000 Nigerians every year, and now number 25”.

He disclosed that the US recently established the Partnership for Atlantic Cooperation, involving three dozen coastal Atlantic countries, including Nigeria, working together to promote a stable, sustainable, prosperous Atlantic region.

While underscoring the imperative of women in business, he said, “If women around the world were participating equally in the workforce, equally to men, you would add $28tn to the global economy, $28tn.  Think of all the things we could do, we could resource, if we have fully empowered women in our global economy.”

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