Published: Thu, March 08, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

US announces $533m for Nigeria, others as Tillerson begins Africa tour

US announces $533m for Nigeria, others as Tillerson begins Africa tour

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.

In his speech on Tuesday at George Mason University, Mr Tillerson said the U.S. has "a longstanding partnership with Kenya".

The money given by the United States will be distributed among seven African countries.

Speaking on "U.S. -Africa Relations: A New Framework", Tillerson said over the past century, as African nations emerged from their colonial past, there had been a dramatic increase in America's engagement with Africa.

Tillerson heads to the continent with the Trump administration advocating cuts of more than a third in aid to African countries and programmes, along with deep reductions to global health initiatives.

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

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He said China has contributed significantly to improving the environment for economic development and investment in Africa, and stressed that it has helped boost African countries' capability for sustainable development. "When do we get to see the outlines of what the Trump Africa policy is?"

Security and counter-terrorism will be high on his agenda in Djibouti, Chad and Nigeria.

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.

About $184 million is for affected populations from South Sudan and more than $110 million for affected populations from Ethiopia.

Tillerson spoke about China's investment in the continent at a lecture at George Mason University on Tuesday.

It noted further that "humanitarian aid is truly life-saving", adding also that "this assistance will not solve these crises, most of which are largely manmade", and calling on all parties to allow aid workers safe and unhindered access to help communities in need.

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