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Assistant 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 the Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken in the participation of government officials, companies, and members of civil society on our shared goals of fighting climate change, food insecurity and global pandemics, and promoting the support and investment of the United States to develop and secure more resilient supply chains, especially for critical minerals. The Assistant Secretary will focus on increasing investment in Africa to increase job growth, greater economic inclusion, and opportunity for citizens of the United States and across the continent.

In Pretoria, Assistant Secretary Fernández will participate in the United States-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 safer and more resilient supply chains, and the education and training needed to combat the climate crisis.

Undersecretary Fernández will then travel to Kinshasa, where he will meet with the DRC Ministries of Mining, Finance, and Environment to strengthen bilateral economic ties, enhance our joint efforts to combat climate change, and strengthen supply chains for critical minerals, which are essential to the technologies driving the world’s clean energy transition. The Assistant Secretary will strengthen our close ties through the privileged U.S.-DRC Partnership for Peace, Prosperity, and Environmental Preservation, and will further strengthen our relationship with agriculture and food systems and nature conservation.

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