Nigeria's 2019 Elections "a major priority focus" - US Government

Nigeria's 2019 Elections

At that meeting, Tillerson had also stated the intention of the U.S.to refocus the relationship with Africa squarely on trade and investment, to help unlock the tremendous potential of the continent.

However, he blasted the predatory loan practices, opaque contracts, and mounting debt China brings to Africa.

He noted that by the year 2030, Africa would represent about one quarter of the world's workforce and by the year 2050, the population of the continent is expected to double to more than 2.5 billion people - with 70 per cent of them under the age of 30.

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". Another $110 million was destined for Ethiopia to help amid a drought.

"But the main focus is to talk to the government", Yamamoto said.

Geng said China will continue to promote large-scale infrastructure and industrial development in Africa.

And that's an area that we really are focusing on; on how to do a peaceful and democratic transition.

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"Our country's security and economic prosperity are linked with Africa's like never before", said Tillerson.

President Donald Trump's description of "shithole countries" in January was greeted with a mix of horror and outrage in Africa, where many don't know what to think about the USA president - or what he thinks of them.

"Tillerson, who leaves for the tour on Tuesday, will visit Chad, Djbouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Nigeria, as well as meet with the African Union Commission..."

Kenya has also served as "an incubator for how we expanded Pepfar over the years", Mr Tillerson said.

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.

Yamamoto said Godec is among the most senior American diplomats serving in Africa and that he stands as "a model of leadership and engagement".

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