Africa Visit: Tillerson To Focus On Population, Institutions, Human Rights

Rex Tillerson, the United States Secretary of State, will visit a couple of African countries including Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, on his first diplomatic visit to Africa.

The department explained that, obviously, a lot of those African countries were still fragile democracies and the USA was trying to strengthen them.

Trump's remarks, seen by many as racist, outraged African leaders and were condemned by the African Union, the continental leadership body.

On Thursday, a statement by Heather Nauert, spokesperson for the State Department, revealed that Tillerson will travel to Chad, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Nigeria on his first trip to Africa as a top USA diplomat.

Fueling skepticism that Trump's administration has thought much about Africa is a long list of vacancies that made planning for his visit all the more hard. Ethiopia, Kenya, and Djibouti are also involved in the struggle against al-Shabaab, the terrorist organization centered in Somalia, where the US military also has assumed a limited support role.

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. "If Trump and Tillerson were seriously interested in issues of trade, public health, and good governance, he would have at least included democratic South Africa on his agenda", Stremlau said.

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 USA president - or what he thinks of them.

Tillerson's visit also comes after the recent mass kidnapping of schoolgirls in Nigeria.

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.

"The long reach of terrorism threatens to steal the future of countless individuals", Tillerson said in a speech at Virginia's George Mason University shortly before departing on Tuesday.

"And what happens in Nigeria is going to affect the Lake Chad region, and that includes Cameroon as well as the G-5 countries".

Yamamoto said Godec is among the most senior American diplomats serving in Africa and that he stands as "a model of leadership and engagement".

Making Tillerson's job harder, he's showing up on the continent with few concrete goals or new actions to announce. No assistant secretary for Africa has been named.

The United States is the largest donor of humanitarian assistance in Africa, providing roughly $3 billion in aid since the beginning of Fiscal Year 2017, the state department said.

In Djibouti, China's development of its first overseas military base just a few miles away has been cause for concern for the USA, illustrating the military side of a broader competition between the US and China playing out across the continent.

  • Tracy Klein