Tillerson arrives in Africa with a narrow mission: Counterterrorism

Tillerson arrives in Africa with a narrow mission: Counterterrorism

The relationship between the United States and Africa under President Trumps administration did not necessarily begin on the best note with the president's tough stance on immigration which is affecting many Africans in the diaspora and on the continent; condescending comments made by the president, which he publicly denied afterwards; and the recent disagreement with some East African leaders on the importation of second-hand clothes. The focus is on security, not economic development, trade and investment, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. State Department officials said Tillerson wanted to hear from leaders in Africa in what ways they're most eager to collaborate with the United States. The trip hardly appears to be a "reset" by the Trump administration in its approach to Africa. During his meetings Tillerson will encourage building and strengthening democratic institutions based on protection of human rights, civil rights as well as promoting tolerance.

Tillerson is expected to visit N'Djamena in Chad, Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Nigeria during his African tour.

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.

The U.S. explained that it was looking at trying to build institutions, really strengthen institutions, and also have peaceful transitions and hold governments accountable to the people in Ethiopia.

Before arriving in Addis Ababa, Tillerson announced $533 million in additional humanitarian assistance to fight starvation and hunger in Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan and other countries. Nigeria and Chad are deeply involved in the struggle against the Islamist, anti-western Boko Haram, which involves limited USA military training and equipment sales.

Tillerson argued in a speech at George Mason University before departing for Africa that, "our country's security and economic prosperity are linked with Africa's like never before". Further, the Trump administration has yet to articulate a distinctive policy toward Africa.

Yamamoto said Godec is among the most senior American diplomats serving in Africa and that he stands as "a model of leadership and engagement". Trump has not named an assistant secretary for Africa to oversee the continent, nor an ambassador to key countries like South Africa.

"The continent has a lot of potential and a lot to offer and that's being recognized by Africa's other partners who are quite aggressive in fostering their relationships", Coulibaly said.

America's military footprint on the continent has been growing as it deploys drones and special forces to help governments in West and East Africa fight local Islamist extremist militias.

Chad, Djibouti and Ethiopia are rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2018.

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