USA top diplomat in Kenya for three-day visit

ISS Today: US and China inch towards awkward co-operation in Africa

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Donald Trump's interaction with Africa since he was sworn in as America's president has been cold and limited.

The United States says African countries could lose sovereignty if they are not careful about the loans they receive from China.

"I believe reasonably that this partnership will bring result for both sides", Chairperson Faki said.

"That includes supporting greater intra- and global-trade investments in Africa as the environment creates competitive conditions", he stressed.

Tillerson, a former Exxon chief executive, is seeking to bolster security alliances on a continent increasingly turning to Beijing for aid and trade. And President Donald Trump remains under intense scrutiny over his reluctance to challenge Russian Federation over alleged interference in the USA election.

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He said that the "incident is of the past" and that the Africa-US relation was cordial.

Tillerson's trip has been planned for months and was immediately overshadowed in January by Trump's remarks.

Tillerson's department, meanwhile, submitted a 2019 budget request that would cut USA health programs in Africa by a fifth and diplomatic programs by more than a third.

"I received a letter written by President Trump to myself and I shared that with other African leaders".

For the record, Tillerson is to visit from the 6th to the 13th of March seven African countries: Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti, Nigeria and Chad.

Hopefully Secretary Tillerson's trip will be the beginning of a dialogue that will inform a yet to be released U.S. -Africa strategy.

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"The goal of my trip to this continent is that we listen", Tillerson said.

However he said his visit was 'an indication of the importance the continent plays in the future of the U.S., both in security and from the economic standpoint'.

He said African countries and their people are best qualified to say whether China-Africa cooperation is good or not.

Top on the agenda of Tillerson is to try and tame China's influence in Africa, with China being the biggest development partner so far with the continent. "It is important that African countries carefully consider the terms of those agreements and not forfeit their sovereignty".

Tillerson, in Addis Ababa, called the idea that he had rejected a meeting with Lavrov 'silly'. According to him, Africans are mature enough to engage in partnerships of their own volition which will be useful for the countries and the continent.

To be clear, it is not uncommon for US presidents to come into office without a clear Africa strategy and not to have one until well into their first term.

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