US Secretary of State to visit Nigeria, Kenya, three others
08 March, 2018, 02:07 | Author: Kim Reid
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillersonsaid millions of people were facing life-threatening food insecurity and malnutrition as a result of ongoing conflict or prolonged drought in the countries.
A swift influx of USA assistance, along with that of other donors, is helping improve humanitarian conditions in all of these countries but ultimately it is up to the leaders in these countries, particularly in South Sudan, to stop the violence and put the welfare of their citizens at the forefront of their actions, the US State Department said in a statement seen by APA on Wednesday.
At that meeting, Tillerson had also stated the intention of the U.S.to refocus the relationship with Africa squarely on trade and investment, to help unlock the tremendous potential of the continent.
He expressed optimism that there was ample opportunity in Africa - for economic growth, for greater prosperity, and for responding to global challenges through mutually respectful partnerships.
Making Tillerson's job harder, he's showing up on the continent with few concrete goals or new actions to announce.
At the same time, "Al-Shabaab continues to conduct brutal attacks against civilian and military targets throughout Somalia", the State Department official acknowledged.
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.
More than $110 million is for affected populations in Somalia and over $128 million for millions in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region.
According to him, he looks forward to returning and building on a strong foundation of U.S. -Africa relations, including visiting Chad, a country that has never before welcomed a visit by the Secretary of State.
The US department of state said during a background briefing on the first trip of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Africa, monitored by the News Agency of Nigeria in NY. But seeing as one of the objectives of the visit is to "spur mutually beneficial trade and investment", the Secretary of State can help us make sense of the USA trade policies towards Africa. Trump has not named an assistant secretary for Africa to oversee the continent, nor an ambassador to key countries like South Africa.
Tillerson will arrive Wednesday in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, now under a state of emergency to control anti-government protests.
Tillerson's words came just before his departure later on Tuesday for an 8-day tour of Africa.
While the top United States diplomat has a broad itinerary on his five-nation trip, Africa experts say Tillerson's planned stops in Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya, Chad and Nigeria underscore the emphasis on security - and away from the traditional United States role as advocate and partner for good governance and development.
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