Tillerson departs for Africa for talks with Buhari, others

US Secretary Of State To Visit Nigeria Next Week

Tillerson said he has made many trips to Africa before, in his former career as an oil executive.

The funding will go to Somalia, South Sudan, Ethiopia and unnamed countries in the Lake Chad Basin.

Tillerson contrasted the United States' work on the African continent, which he said promoted "sustainable growth", with that of China, which recently pledged US$124 billion (RM484 billion) for its plan to expand links between Asia, Africa, Europe, and other places. He will be visiting 5 countries, including Ethiopia and Djibouti.

According to the U.S. State Department, Secretary Tillerson will meet with President Uhuru Kenyatta and other government officials in talks set to focus on continued support for the democratic process in Kenya, refugee issues, and press freedom.

Tillerson is scheduled to arrive in Ethiopia on Wednesday. The day before Tillerson's departure, about 100 protesters gathered outside Tillerson's office in Washington chanting against the government.

"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", Tillerson explained.

More news: Iran criticises France over missile programme stance

China is aggressively working to expand its regional influence, which is something of concern to USA lawmakers.

Tillerson, in his speech, warned that China's approach to development in Africa "encourages dependency" that undermines its sovereignty and risks its stability.

The US would do more to reduce trade and investment barriers for African partners, he said. But word emerged Tuesday that the administration would start approving elephant trophy importing on a "case-by-case" basis.

The humanitarian assistance includes more than $110 million for affected populations from Somalia.

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.

In Ethiopia, for example, total USA investment of around $567 million, is dwarfed by Chinese investments, which are more than $15 billion, according to the State Department.

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