Kenya: Tillerson Affirms US Commitment to Kenya On Trade and Security

Posted March 10, 2018

Tillerson revealed a series of new intiatives to enhance economic and humanitarian cooperation between the United States and Africa on Monday.

Tillerson said after meeting his Ethiopian counterpart Workneh Gebeyehu that the answer to political turmoil in Ethiopia was greater freedoms.

Secretary Tillerson thanked Chairman Faki and the AU for its continued attention to and good work across the Continent and underscored the strong U.S. -AU bilateral relationship.

According to Beijing, Tillerson's remark was "totally out of line with the truth".

Tillerson's Africa visit includes chad, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Nigeria.

"We are not in any way attempting to get Chinese investment out of Africa".

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Tillerson embarked on a five-nation tour beginning in Ethiopia with a visit to the African Union. African countries should "not forfeit any elements of your sovereignty as you enter into such arrangements with China", he warned.

The secretary of state said Africa should "weigh Chinese loans carefully", but the US will not prevent these investments from taking place. China is the continent's largest trading partner and has invested in infrastructure across the continent.

At the same time, key ambassadorships in South Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo and other nations remain unfilled, along with the continent's top diplomatic position, the assistant secretary of state for Africa.

Trump went on to ask why the United States would want more people from Haiti and African countries, rather than countries like Norway. Therefore, in statements at the end of the visit to the AU headquarters, Tillerson made it clear that from now on, commercial ties will increase at all levels to be more present in the region. In several African countries, more debt was owed to traditional lenders such as the World Bank and Western commercial banks than to China. In his opening remarks with Faki, he said the US and Africa have "enjoyed many, many years of positive relationships". He said USA welcomed Chinese participation, but hoped they would follow worldwide rules, global norms, and respect the sovereignty of countries. Beijing has extended loans, often under onerous terms, to a range of countries under the aegis of its Belt and Road Initiative.

Mahamat, in his remarks, said his discussions with the USA envoy was fruitful, noting the visit was taking place at a time when Africa was firmly embarking on the path to integration and reform.

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