The United States will give more than $533 million in humanitarian aid for victims of conflicts and drought in Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan and the West and Central African countries bordering Lake Chad, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Tuesday.
As far as Africa’s concerned, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the Trump administration have some explaining to do. 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 U.S. president.
It falls to Tillerson to mend the damage as he travels to the continent on Tuesday, becoming the most senior U.S. official to set foot there since Mr. Trump took office more than a year ago. Mr. Tillerson is scheduled to visit Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya, Chad and Nigeria.
Tillerson, in a speech laying out the administration’s Africa policy, said the continent’s rapid economic growth and fast-rising populations mean its future is increasingly linked to America’s. He said the U.S. was committed to helping, but that prosperity and basic stability would be impossible until the security situation is brought under control.
African ambassadors to the UN called on Trump to apologise to African leaders during the African union summit, which held in Addis Ababa in January, but he did not. Before the meeting he met with Rwanda’s president Paul Kagame and sent his warmest regards to African leaders.