U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will travel to Chad, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Nigeria next week on his first trip to Africa as the top U.S. diplomat.
A U.S. embassy source in Ethiopia says the current political crisis in Ethiopia will surely take a center stage during all the discussions with Ethiopian officials. The embassy source also added that Tillerson’s visit, set for March 7 is “an indication that the US government is taking the unfolding events in Ethiopia very seriously”.
Tillerson will also meet with African Union leadership based in Addis Ababa.
“He plans to discuss ways we can work with our partners to counter terrorism, advance peace and security, promote good governance, and spur mutually beneficial trade and investment,” said Heather Nauert, U.S. State Department spokeswoman
During a November meeting with African Union ministers in Washington, Tillerson outlined only general policy goals regarding the continent.
Secretary Tillerson’s visit to Africa takes place a few weeks after U.S. President Donald Trump upset many leaders in Africa, and around the world by allegedly referring to African nations as “shithole countries” in January.