USA secretary of state on first official trip to Sub-Saharan Africa

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According to him, he looks forward to returning and building on a strong foundation of U.S. -Africa relations, including visiting Chad, a country that has never before welcomed a visit by the Secretary of State.

On Monday, acting assistant secretary of state for African affairs, Donald Yamamoto confirmed the meeting between President Uhuru and Tillerson, although he did not disclose what will be discussed.

The State Department said that about $184 million would go to help those affected by conflict in South Sudan and $110 million for those in Somalia.

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In a speech Tuesday outlining the Trump administration's Africa policy, Tillerson said the United States is "eager" to lower barriers to trade and investment in Africa, whose largest trading partner by far is China. But he said the Chinese approach has led to mounting debt and few if any jobs in most countries.

Secretary Tillerson would meet with officials in Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Chad and Djibouti to strengthen U.S. -Africa ties, they said.

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

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The State Department stressed that the half-billion in additional dollars for Africa that Tillerson announced were humanitarian aid, not development assistance, and would come from the State Department's population and refugees office and from USAID programs for food and disaster assistance.

Tillerson said: "today I'm announcing $533 million in additional humanitarian assistance to fight starvation and food insecurity and address other needs resulting from conflicts in Somalia, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and the Lake Chad Basin". "The substance of what he conveys may be more diverse, but given the signals coming out of the White House and administration to date, I imagine that security is top of the order, along with cementing relationships with partners that the USA considers important security players". Another $110 million was earmarked for Ethiopia to help amid a drought, with the remaining $128 million helping Nigeria and the Lake Chad region nations.

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