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04:38, 25 March 2018 Sunday
Update: 03:10, 14 March 2018 Wednesday

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'Tillerson’s Africa visit sign of improving relations'
'Tillerson’s Africa visit sign of improving relations'

Then-US secretary of state announced more than $533M in humanitarian aid for victims of conflicts and drought in Africa

World Bulletin / News Desk

The just-concluded weeklong visit by the U.S. secretary of state to five African countries implies President Donald Trump’s administration is improving relations with Africa, according to a leading analyst.

“The trajectory that had not been looking good has improved,” Brooks Spector, a former US diplomat who served in Africa and Asia before news that Rex Tillerson had been dismissed from the secretary of state post, due to be replaced by CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

How the change at the State Department helm will affect U.S.-African relations is not yet known.

Brooks said the Trump administration had expressed lesser interest in Africa, for example by not appointing an ambassador to South Africa, the continent’s most advanced economy.

He also observed Trump’s recent vulgar comments about the continent were hurtful, but said he hoped Tillerson’s visit would improve relations.

During his visit on March 6-13, Tillerson travelled to Kenya, Ethiopia, Chad, Nigeria, and the small Horn of African nation of Djibouti.

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