Nigeria's 2019 general elections our major priority - USA

Michele Moreno
March 8, 2018

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has criticized China ahead of his first official visit to Africa for encouraging dependence there through its economic assistance.

In West Africa, Tillerson will visit Chad and Nigeria, both major oil-producers struggling to contain the Islamist Boko Haram insurgency.

"Mr. Tillerson is scheduled to visit Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya, Chad, and Nigeria..."

A statement on the US Department of State did not specify the exact date he will visit Kenya.

Former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield told VOA on Tuesday that Tillerson is "absolutely correct" on Chinese influence in Africa, but "he did not say what will done to counter balance that influence".

Yamamoto said the United States is working with the African Union and other neighbouring counties to push Democratic Republic of Congo to hold elections in December.

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.

Strong trade and reliable banking institutions are the "impetus for that development", Yamamoto said.

"We also wants to see a dynamic and broad-based investment in Zimbabwe". Those are issues too that we're working in Zimbabwe with the transition between Robert Mugabe and Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Yamamot's remarks on Zimbabwe came even as reports said US President Donald Trump has "extended sanctions against Zimbabwe for another year".

"... The Trump administration has yet to nominate a chief US diplomat for Africa, while eight embassies, including South Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Somalia, remain without ambassadors".

He said the goal of the country's current borrowings was good on paper but regretted that the budgetary process had been frustrating the roll out of infrastructure for which the government had been taking loans. "Democracy requires the inclusive, peaceful participation of a nation's citizens in the political process", he said. Reaffirmation of discussions from London is needed.

Ajakaiye also faulted the current strategy of the Federal Government to borrow from foreign sources in order to liquidate local debts.

"We believe that the summit will be very fruitful and will inject new impetus to Africa's development and China-Africa cooperation", Geng said.

Geng said China's financing support to Africa is mainly in infrastructure and production areas.

Other reports by Insurance News

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