sunny.png
Tuesday February 7th, 2023 4:40PM

Yellen tours wildlife reserve to start South Africa visit

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

HAMMANSKRAAL, South Africa (AP) — U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen used a tour of a wildlife park in South Africa on Wednesday to announce a joint initiative to combat wildlife trafficking and related criminal activities in both countries.

Yellen said during a visit to the Dinokeng Game Reserve that the United States and South Africa would form a task force to focus on the financing of wildlife trafficking. She said there also would be increased information sharing between U.S. and South African financial intelligence units.

The task force would “follow the money” in the same way other investigating authorities pursue evidence of serious crimes, Yellen said, and the “shared commitment” would likely help U.S. efforts to fight money-laundering and high-level corruption.

“Wildlife traffickers, corrupt officials and other criminals rely on many of the same vulnerabilities in anti-money laundering regulatory regimes, so our efforts to combat wildlife trafficking reinforce our efforts to fight corruption and vice versa,” Yellen said at the game reserve located north of Pretoria, South Africa's capital.

Yellen is on a 10-day tour of Africa, part of a push by the Biden administration to engage more with the world's second-largest continent. She has already visited Senegal and Zambia, where she outlined the potential Africa, with its young population and growing middle class, has for U.S. business.

She began her visit to South Africa on Wednesday, two days after Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov held talks with his South African counterpart in Pretoria, underscoring the complicated relations some African nations hold with the West on one side, and Russia and China on the other.

Yellen is due to meet President Cyril Ramaphosa and the country’s finance minister on Thursday, and will also make a trip to a Ford assembly plant and a coal mining region. Yellen is expected to speak about expanding U.S.-African trade and investment flows during her visit to South Africa.

South Africa is the continent's most developed economy and viewed as key to the Biden administration's efforts to enhance the American diplomatic and economic presence in Africa. But the country is also a historical ally of Russia because of the Soviet Union's support in ending the apartheid system of racial oppression of South Africa's Black majority.

South Africa is the most significant of several African nations to take a neutral stance on the war in Ukraine and refuse to side with the U.S. and its allies in condemning Russia, a move that perhaps reinforced the need for the Biden administration to re-establish relations in Africa.

President Joe Biden has said he plans to visit Africa this year, as does Vice President Kamala Harris, first lady Jill Biden and other Cabinet secretaries. The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, was also set to start a three-country tour of Africa on Wednesday.

Yellen's announcement of a joint wildlife trafficking task force at a reserve that is home to lions, leopards, elephants and critically endangered black rhinos could help a key South African industry. South Africa has an abundance of game parks and a thriving wildlife tourism industry but struggles with the effects of poaching and illegal animal trafficking.

The White House strategy for Africa also outlines concern over China's involvement in sub-Saharan Africa, where it has for years entrenched itself in the region's natural resources market. China is now South Africa's biggest trade partner.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington
© Copyright 2023 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Yellen tours wildlife reserve to start South Africa visit
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has used a tour of a wildlife park in South Africa to announce a joint initiative to combat wildlife trafficking and related criminal activities in both countries
9:09AM ( 28 minutes ago )
Fatigue and despair build as California copes with massacres
California is reeling from three major mass shootings in just over a week
9:04AM ( 33 minutes ago )
Spanish museum returns 2 paintings looted by Nazis to Poland
A museum in northwest Spain has returned two 15th-century paintings to Polish officials after it was determined that they were looted by the forces of Nazi Germany during World War II
9:01AM ( 36 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
'Happening way too often': Report delves into mass attacks
A new report on mass attacks calls for communities to intervene early when they see warning signs of violence
5:09AM ( 4 hours ago )
China cites US debt issue to deflect pressure on Africa debt
The Chinese government says the U.S. should stop pressuring it on debt relief for Zambia and focus on averting a government default at home with possible repercussions for the global economy
4:12AM ( 5 hours ago )
China uses US debt battle to deflect pressure on Africa debt
The Chinese government says the U.S. should stop pressuring it on debt relief for Zambia and get its own financial house in order to avert a default and the possible fallout on the global economy
12:10AM ( 9 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Fatigue and despair build as California copes with massacres
California is reeling from three major mass shootings in just over a week
9:04AM ( 33 minutes ago )
Spanish museum returns 2 paintings looted by Nazis to Poland
A museum in northwest Spain has returned two 15th-century paintings to Polish officials after it was determined that they were looted by the forces of Nazi Germany during World War II
9:01AM ( 36 minutes ago )
Prosecutors to Congress: Let state prisons jam cellphones
Top state prosecutors are urging Congress to pass legislation allowing state prisons to jam signals of cellphones smuggled to inmates
9:00AM ( 37 minutes ago )
Shiffrin adds to record total with 84th win in another GS
Mikaela Shiffrin didn’t wait long to add to her record total of World Cup wins
8:49AM ( 49 minutes ago )
Daboll, Pederson, Shanahan up for AP NFL Coach of the Year
Brian Daboll, Doug Pederson and Kyle Shanahan are the finalists for The Associated Press 2022 NFL Coach of the Year award
8:45AM ( 52 minutes ago )