Tillerson aims to show United States cares about Africa

Adjust Comment Print

China hopes that other countries will do more good for Africa's development and treat China-Africa cooperation in a fair and objective manner, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Tuesday.

Tillerson told African countries to weigh Chinese loans carefully, adding that the United States was not trying to keep Chinese investment away from the continent, Premium Times reports.

"African countries can contribute to [putting pressure on] North Korea", Tillerson said.

On Thursday, during his first trip to Africa, the United States diplomat told a news conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, that African leaders need to carefully consider their agreements with China. Trump had questioned why the USA would accept more immigrants from Haiti and "shithole countries" in Africa as he rejected an immigration deal, according to one participant and to people briefed on the Oval Office conversation.

"While we appreciate the government's responsibility to maintain control ... it is important that country moves on past the state of emergency as quickly as possible", he said.

The secretary of state said the U.S. was not attempting to keep Chinese investment out of Africa, but said "it is important for African countries to carefully consider the terms of those investments".

China surpassed the USA in 2009 to become Africa's biggest trading partner - and its share of trade continues to grow compared to the United States.

The US State Department is grappling with the impact of Trump's'America First policy- Tillerson's maiden trip to Africa is seen as shoring up US commitment to the continent

The U.S. secretary of state nevertheless emphasized that Washington welcomed the involvement of other countries in development initiatives on the African continent.

Mr Tillerson gave his speech at George Mason University in Virginia, shortly before setting off on his weeklong visit to Chad, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Nigeria.

"The incident is behind us, the visit by the secretary of state today is proof of the importance of relations between the different parties", he said. He says the U.S.is providing South Korea with input also.

The sentiments represent a change on the part of the Trump administration, which until now has said very little publicly on African policy.

It's a starkly different message from the one Trump delivered in a meeting with US lawmakers this year that soon became public, forcing humiliated USA ambassadors to apologize and Trump to send a letter to African leaders affirming his respect.

American aid also tends to be accompanied by American views on human rights and governing, and Tillerson will probably have to address the political crises in Kenya and Ethiopia, while Nigeria is facing a key election next year. Tillerson did announce Tuesday an additional $533 million in humanitarian assistance to help with starvation and conflict-related needs in Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan and Nigeria, but it was unclear exactly where the money would come from.

More news: Committed to winning back trust of people in northeast, says Rahul Gandhi

Comments