US Cautions Nigeria, Other African Countries On Chinese Loan

by Antonio Miles March 10, 2018, 1:45
US Cautions Nigeria, Other African Countries On Chinese Loan

Donald Trump's interaction with Africa since he was sworn in as America's president has been cold and limited.

On Wednesday, he flew to Ethiopia at the start of his first diplomatic trip to the continent.

Lavrov arrived in Ethiopia on Thursday evening in the framework of his Africa tour.

North Korea has more than a dozen embassies on the continent.

For context, by the year 2050, Nigeria will have a population larger than the U.S. and an economy larger than Australia's. Africa is home to five of the world's 10 fastest-growing economies, but where many also struggle to secure financing.

"We are committed to supporting the IGAD High-Level Revitalization Forum, encouraging President Salva Kiir and the opposition to support the peace process, humanitarian assistance and the deployment of Regional Protection Force (RPF)", the President said.

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Mahamat, in his remarks, said his discussions with the US envoy was fruitful, noting the visit was taking place at a time when Africa was firmly embarking on the path to integration and reform. During the transition, mentions of the continent seemed largely in the context of cutting some of the USA signature aid and development programmes.

The strategic ambiguity of the US-China relationship in Africa was again clear when General Thomas Waldhauser, commander of the US Africa Command (AFRICOM), briefed Congress on Tuesday.

On security, the President said the long-standing mutually enhanced security and military collaboration between Kenya and the U.S. has played a big role in counter-terrorism, especially in the fight against Al-Shabaab in Somalia.

"With the visit of Secretary of State Tillerson, the relation between Africa and the USA is personified,"Mahamat said, adding that the spat was "a thing of the past". Chinese influence does not however take away the historical ties between Washington and African capitals. No doubt the big powers will be acting primarily in their own interests, but if they do coordinate their development efforts and their efforts to fight terrorism, for instance, that could benefit Africa. "Tillerson will focus on continued support for the democratic process in Kenya, refugee issues, and press freedom", the USA embassy said in a brief statement issued before the top diplomat's arrival in Nairobi. Secretary Tillerson and Chairperson Faki agreed the AU and Intergovernmental Authority on Development should continue to apply pressure on the warring parties in South Sudan for a negotiated solution, to protect the lives and welfare of innocent South Sudanese. The Secretary of State has repeatedly warned developing nations both within and outside Africa that China's generous credit deals could make them beholden to the demands of the totalitarian government in Beijing.

This week, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson departs on a weeklong trip to Africa with stops in Chad, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Nigeria.

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