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Ethiopian Foreign Minister Welcomes US State Secretary

Ethiopian Foreign Minister Welcomes US State Secretary”

President Donald Trump's description of "shithole countries" in January was greeted with a mix of horror and outrage in Africa, where many don't know what to think about the US president - or what he thinks of them. The focus is on security, not economic development, trade and investment, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. The State Department spokesperson, Heather Nauert, when announcing the trip, said that its objective was "to further our partnerships with the governments and people of Africa". "And the Chinese have understood it and have been more proactive and aggressive in a way that it's benefiting them", Brahima Coulibaly, the director of the Africa Growth Initiative at Brookings Institution, said, commenting on the trip.

"And I know that in the last administrations, even the last three, we have always said going to Nigeria is critical to stability and the future for the USA relationship in West Africa".

Tillerson is due to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari and leaders of Chad, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya between today and March 13.

Addis Ababa - THE United States (US) government has announced $533 million (R 6,27 billion) in humanitarian assistance for millions of people facing food insecurity and malnutrition because of conflict or prolonged drought in Africa.

"... After repeatedly demonstrating indifference and skepticism about Africa's place in US foreign policy, Tillerson's speech ahead of his five-nation tour was the first to offer some sense of the Trump administration's Africa policy".

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Ethiopia, authoritarian and opaque, is a close US ally in its counterterrorism operations in East Africa, notably against al-Shabab, the extremist group fighting the United Nations -backed Somali government.

The State Department said that about $184 million would go to help those affected by conflict in South Sudan and $110 million for those in Somalia.

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. Further, the Trump administration has yet to articulate a distinctive policy toward Africa.

John Stremlau, an analyst on Africa and a visiting professor at the University of the Witwatersrand, argues that America's decline in influence in Africa has accelerated under Trump.

Yamamoto said Godec is among the most senior American diplomats serving in Africa and that he stands as "a model of leadership and engagement". No assistant secretary for Africa has been named. "Africa is a growing market with vast potential". It recently established an 8,000-person peacekeeping force registered with the U.N. Like the U.S., France, Italy and Japan, it has a military base in Djibouti. "He received support from the commander of USA military forces in Africa, who advocated Tuesday for a stronger diplomatic arm on the continent..."



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