World News

Secretary Tillerson to Begin Five Nation Tour of Africa

Secretary Tillerson to Begin Five Nation Tour of Africa

The United States Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, on Tuesday, announced an over $128m humanitarian assistance for Nigeria and countries in the Lake Chad region. Prior to his arrival in Ethiopia, the White House reported that the tour had been oriented to foster cooperation and mutual respect, based on understanding.

"On each of his stops, Secretary Tillerson has an opportunity to confirm that the United States maintains its longstanding commitment to supporting and defending Africa's champions of democratic governance and human rights", said Jon Temin, director of Africa programs.

The relationship between the United States and Africa under President Trumps administration did not necessarily begin on the best note with the president's tough stance on immigration which is affecting many Africans in the diaspora and on the continent; condescending comments made by the president, which he publicly denied afterwards; and the recent disagreement with some East African leaders on the importation of second-hand clothes.

"The long reach of terrorism threatens to steal the future of countless individuals", Tillerson said in a speech at Virginia's George Mason University shortly before departing on Tuesday.

Yamamoto said Godec is among the most senior American diplomats serving in Africa and that he stands as "a model of leadership and engagement".

In West Africa, Tillerson will visit Chad and Nigeria, both major oil-producers struggling to contain the Islamist Boko Haram insurgency.

The amount was part of the $533m aid the U.S.is handing out to the country alongside the people of Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan and countries in the Lake Chad region.




Making Tillerson's job harder, he's showing up on the continent with few concrete goals or new actions to announce. Tillerson said China's investment in Africa "encouraged dependency".

Analysts say Trump has focused mainly on security concerns in Africa at a time when China, Turkey and other nations are ramping up diplomatic and business links. The visit could also indicate the direction of the Trump administration in Africa.

"... The Trump administration has yet to nominate a chief US diplomat for Africa, while eight embassies, including South Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Somalia, remain without ambassadors". "When do we get to see the outlines of what the Trump Africa policy is?" No assistant secretary for Africa has been named.

In his Djibouti visit Tillerson will likely seek assurances that US access to the port to refuel military vessels and resupply its military base will not be restricted.

Tillerson will also visit Kenya, where the political system is in turmoil over disputes related to President Uhuru Kenyatta's re-election.

The former Exxon Mobil CEO's itinerary reflects big changes and big challenges underway across the continent.


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