China Denies Secretary Tillerson's Claims That It's Pushing Africa Into Debt
08 March, 2018, 02:11 | Author: Jason Torres
U.S. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, would make his first trip to Africa next week, going from Kenya in the East to Nigeria in the West, Senior Administration officials said on Friday.
Tillerson is the highest-ranking US official to travel to Africa since President Donald Trump took office.
This is a breaking news to be updated shortly.
The funding will go to Somalia, South Sudan, Ethiopia and unnamed countries in the Lake Chad Basin. The day before Tillerson's departure, about 100 protesters gathered outside Tillerson's office in Washington chanting against the government.
Tillerson spoke about China's investment in the continent at a lecture at George Mason University on Tuesday.
His latest, and his first as the US's top diplomat, coincides with that of his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, who is this week visiting Angola, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
China is aggressively working to expand its regional influence, which is something of concern to US lawmakers.
"Chinese investment does have the potential to address Africa's infrastructure gap, but its approach has led to mounting debt and few, if any, jobs in most countries", said Tillerson.
Tillerson will also visit Kenya, where the political system is in turmoil over disputes related to President Uhuru Kenyatta's re-election.
The U.S. lawmaker added China "is building military relationships and partnering with one-party states, often to the detriment of good governance, the rule of law, and the African people themselves". In November, after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said it would lift the Obama-era ban, Trump personally intervened to keep it in place. About $184 million was destined South Sudan and $110 million for Somalia amid conflicts in both countries.
Of the newly-announced funds, almost $184 million is for affected populations in South Sudan and more than $110 million is for millions vulnerable in Ethiopia.
Mr Tillerson did not include Kenya, however, among the countries to benefit from a $533 million United States famine-prevention initiative he announced on Tuesday.
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