Nigeria to benefit from U.S. $533m charity fund for Africa

In a speech in Virginia on Tuesday, Tillerson said Chinese investment has the potential to address Africa's infrastructure gap.

Separately, a State Department official told the Nation that stepped-up USA air strikes in tandem with Amisom and Somali government attacks are inflicting damage on Al-Shabaab.

07 de marzo de 2018, 17:33Addis Ababa, Mar 7 (Prensa Latina) US State Secretary Rex Tillerson was welcomed today by Ethiopian Foreign Minister Workneh Gebeyehu in the first stop of his official visit to Africa.

The United States of America Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Tillerson announced the $533 million aid for the African countries while speaking at George Mason University in Virginia shortly before departing the USA for Africa.

More than $110 million is for affected populations in Somalia and over $128 million for millions in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region.

The United States is the largest donor of humanitarian assistance in Africa, providing roughly $3 billion in aid since the beginning of Fiscal Year 2017, the state department said.

Tillerson will aim to mend that perception as he becomes the most senior U.S. official to set foot in Africa since Trump took office more than a year ago. It was unclear how many opportunities Tillerson would have to engage substantively with key leaders and African institutions such as the G5 Sahel joint counterterrorism force given the rapid pace and last-minute nature of his trip.

China is aggressively working to expand its regional influence, which is something of concern to USA lawmakers.

Tillerson contrasted the United States' work on the African continent, which he said promoted "sustainable growth", with that of China, which recently pledged US$124 billion (RM484 billion) for its plan to expand links between Asia, Africa, Europe, and other places.

He said China has focused on extending financial support in the fields of infrastructure building and productivity improvement. But word emerged Tuesday that his administration would start approving elephant trophy importing on a "case-by-case" basis.

Of the newly-announced funds, almost $184 million is for affected populations in South Sudan and more than $110 million is for millions vulnerable in Ethiopia.

According to him, these additional funds will provide emergency food, nutrition assistance, and other aid.

Though he has yet to visit as diplomat, Tillerson is not a stranger to Africa, which he visited frequently in search of deals in his previous job as CEO of Exxon Mobil.

  • Rogelio Becker