Published: Wed, March 07, 2018
Medical | By Marta Holmes

Tillerson says China 'encourages dependency' in Africa

Tillerson says China 'encourages dependency' in Africa

The News Agency of Nigeria had reported that the US Department of State had in a background briefing on the visit of the Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, to the continent expressed worry that African countries were regressing to debt after debt forgiveness, which countries like Nigeria benefitted from between 2004 and 2006.

The Tuesday's trip will be Tillerson's first to Africa.

The Secretary of State is expected to touch down in Abuja, Nigeria's capital on Wednesday and will be meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, members of the National Assembly and civil society.

Looming in the background will be African leaders' question about the US commitment toward the continent, particularly after President Donald Trump allegedly referred to African nations as "shithole" countries during a meeting in January.

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Tillerson's one-week, five-nation trip will focus on counterterrorism, promoting peace, good governance and trade and investment.

The African Union demanded an apology from Trump after the remarks surfaced.

"While Tillerson and Trump who come from a business background see USA relations with the rest of the world as transactional, it's unclear whether it will show a clearer US global diplomatic strategy", said Aynete.

For more than a decade, the USA has cautioned African countries against entering into deals with China, which has steadily increased its influence by offering infrastructure loans and investing in energy production and natural resources extraction. He said Ambassador Godec stands as "a model of leadership and engagement".

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On Monday, U.S. Acting Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Donald Yamamoto said Tillerson will meet AU officials to discuss issues including South Sudan, DR Congo, Somalia, and the G5 countries.

Another area of interest is how the USA assist African countries play a really predominant role in growth, as well as building institutions, stressing that there can not be real "robust economic development and addressing the ingenuity, the creativity of the people of Africa, unless we have strong institutions, governance, strong economic institutions that will really ignite and stimulate growth".

He also said the United States supported the creation of a development finance institution for Africa.

Tillerson's trip will overlap with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who is scheduled to visit Ethiopia at the same time.

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