Published: Thu, March 08, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

US Secretary Of State Tillerson Traveling To 5 African Nations This Week

US Secretary Of State Tillerson Traveling To 5 African Nations This Week

"The American people, as we always have been, are there to partner with African countries to ensure their most vulnerable populations receive life-saving assistance".

State Department officials said Tillerson wanted to hear from leaders in Africa in what ways they're most eager to collaborate with the United States.

Tillerson said China's investment in Africa "encouraged dependency". Another $110 million was destined for Ethiopia to help amid a drought.

In his speech on Tuesday at George Mason University, Mr Tillerson said the USA has "a longstanding partnership with Kenya".

"But the main focus is to talk to the government", Yamamoto said.

"The AU Mission in Somalia - or Amisom - includes troops from five African countries, stabilising areas under attack from Al-Shabaab and permitting much needed aid to reach the Somali people", Mr Tillerson said.

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The trip comes two months after President Donald Trump triggered a wave of controversy when he reportedly referred to some African nations as "s-hole countries" during an Oval Office meeting on immigration with a bipartisan group of senators.

"Our country's security and economic prosperity are linked with Africa's like never before", said Tillerson.

The United States is the largest donor of humanitarian assistance in Africa, providing roughly $3 billion in aid since the beginning of Fiscal Year 2017, the state department said.

The trip, his first official visit to Africa, as Secretary of State, will begin with a trip to Ethiopia and later to Djibouti from where he will go to Kenya and Chad before coming to Nigeria.

"To understand where the world is going, one must understand Africa is the future", Tillerson said, noting Africa will be home this year to six of the world's 10 fastest-growing economies and will have one-fourth of the world's workforce by 2030.

Trump hasn't announced a signature initiative to help the continent, such as the PEPFAR program for HIV/AIDS that George W. Bush started, and many of his sweeping budget cuts affect overseas programs that disproportionately help Africa.

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