US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to make his first trip to Africa as the top US diplomat
In Press Statement issued by the Department of State Spokesperson Heather Nauert, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is to make his first official trip to Africa, the itinerary includes N’Djamena, Chad, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, and, Nigeria. The tour will be from March 6 to March 13.
Secretary Tillerson will meet with leadership in each country, as well as the leadership of the African Union Commission based in Addis Ababa, to further our partnerships with the governments and people of Africa. In particular, he plans to discuss ways we can work with our partners to counter terrorism, advance peace and security, promote good governance and spur mutually beneficial trade and investment” read the statement.
“It’s not only based on economic and commercial development but in the context of building a strong institution, governance and security as well as human rights,” a senior State Department official said, as reported by VOA News.
Secretary Tillerson’s comes at a time when all these countries are facing paradigm shifts in domestic politics, “Washington’s vision of a genuinely inclusive political process in Ethiopia, Kenya and other African nations includes institution-building, peaceful transitions of power, and holding governments accountable to the people” the official added.
In Ethiopia, officials have declared a state of emergency amidst widespread anti-government protests that have persisted for more than two years. In Kenya, there is a growing demand for political diversity.
On counter-terrorism, the United States recently put several affiliates of the Islamic State (IS) terror group in Africa on the terrorism blacklist in an effort to cut off any financial support they may have been getting from within the United States.
Among those designated as terrorist organizations include ISIS-West Africa, ISIS-Somalia, Jund al-Khilafah-Tunisia and ISIS-Egypt.
Sec. Tillerson will travel to #Chad, #Djibouti, #Ethiopia, #Kenya & #Nigeria, March 6-13 to further our partnerships w/the governments & people of #Africa & discuss ways to work w/our partners to counter terrorism, advance peace & security, promote good governance & spur trade. pic.twitter.com/RhC9uEpSb2
— Heather Nauert (@statedeptspox) March 1, 2018
Secretary Tillerson’s trip next week is also seen as a good opportunity for the U.S. to reaffirm ties with African nations, particularly after U.S. President Donald Trump referred to the continent and Haiti in a derogatory manner earlier this year (“Shithole” remarks).
The Kooneeti Team - White House Watch
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