Three things Uhuru will discuss with Trump's top diplomat on Friday

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde

The US Department of State, during a background briefing on the first trip of Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson to Africa, said such loans were unhelpful to the continent. Prior to his arrival in Ethiopia, the White House reported that the tour had been oriented to foster cooperation and mutual respect, based on understanding.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaks during his meeting with Irish Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign and Trade Minister Simon Coveney, at the U.S. State Department in Washington, Friday, Feb. 23, 2018.

The United States has donated almost $3bn humanitarian assistance to African countries facing one form of crisis or the other since the beginning of Fiscal Year 2017 and has also encouraged additional contributions to meet growing needs.

Tillerson argued in a speech at George Mason University before departing for Africa that, "our country's security and economic prosperity are linked with Africa's like never before".

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

The trip, his first official visit to Africa, as Secretary of State, will begin with a trip to Ethiopia and later to Djibouti from where he will go to Kenya and Chad before coming to Nigeria. Nigeria and Chad are deeply involved in the struggle against the Islamist, anti-western Boko Haram, which involves limited US military training and equipment sales. Tillerson said China's investment in Africa "encouraged dependency". Tillerson did announce Tuesday an additional $533 million in humanitarian assistance to help with starvation and conflict-related needs in Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan and Nigeria, but it was unclear exactly where the money would come from.

US Secretary of State to focus on security on first African visit
A conversation on Secretary Tillerson's March 2018 Trip to Africa

The department said over two decades ago, the number of countries in Africa with really democratically elected government was really very few - only three or four.

At the same time, key ambassadorships in South Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo and other nations remain unfilled, along with the continent's top diplomatic position, the assistant secretary of state for Africa. Further, the Trump administration has yet to articulate a distinctive policy toward Africa.

Fueling skepticism that Trump's administration has thought much about Africa is a long list of vacancies that made planning for his visit all the more hard. "He received support from the commander of US military forces in Africa, who advocated Tuesday for a stronger diplomatic arm on the continent..."

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. Kenya faces unresolved issues related to its recent contested presidential elections.

"Africa is ready and open for business".

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