Secretary Tillerson will be taking his first official visit to Africa starting March 7, meeting with leaders in Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya, Chad, and Nigeria.
The State Department announced that the Secretary will be addressing issues of counter-terrorism, peace and security, good governance, and trade and investment.
The countries Secretary Tillerson is scheduled to visit, and the key issues to be addressed, reflect clear continuity in U.S. policy priorities in sub-Saharan Africa since the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
Here is my advice to the Secretary for each of his planned meetings. Read More
For many African nations, the year 2016 is presenting some difficult challenges. For the second time since 1960, the commodity exports that bring in most of Africa’s revenue have suffered severe world price declines.
Between 1960 and 1980, high world prices for African commodity exports, especially crude oil, minerals such as copper, iron ore, manganese, and cobalt, brought African governments considerable revenue. Unfortunately, that revenue was not used to finance economic diversity, especially in agro-industry, manufacturing, transportation and intra-African trade. As a result, when world commodity prices dropped heavily between 1975 and 1980, many African countries found themselves heavily in debt and unable to service those debts. Too much of the earlier wealth was squandered on the financing of white elephants, the disastrous nationalization of private companies, and sadly, extensive corruption. Read More
AFRICA TO ENJOY TEN MORE YEARS OF AGOA
The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) will be extended for an additional ten years. President Obama signed the legislation into law on June 29, 2015.
AGOA became operational for the first time at the beginning of 2001. President Clinton signed the legislation toward the end of his second term, but the program began during the Republican administration of George W. Bush. Read More