U.S. allocates billions for the needy in Africa

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Hours before departing on a week-long visit to Africa, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Tuesday the US will commit $533 Million in humanitarian aid to address food insecurity, starvation and health concerns on the continent.

Tillerson's Africa visit includes Chad, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Nigeria.

Audio will be available later today.

"Chinese investment does have the potential to address Africa's infrastructure gap, but its approach has led to mounting debt and few, if any, jobs in most countries", Tillerson explained.

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Hours before leaving the U.S. Tuesday, Tillerson said the U.S.is committed to building on a "strong foundation of U.S. -Africa relations" and accused China of "encouraging dependency" in its approach to the continent.

The relationship between the United States and Africa under President Trumps administration did not necessarily begin on the best note with the president's tough stance on immigration which is affecting many Africans in the diaspora and on the continent; condescending comments made by the president, which he publicly denied afterwards; and the recent disagreement with some East African leaders on the importation of second-hand clothes. This comes at an important time when countries like Nigeria and Chad are struggling with attacks from the Boko Haram insurgency while Ethiopia and Kenya are plagued with political crises. The day before Tillerson's departure, about 100 protesters gathered outside Tillerson's office in Washington chanting against the government.

In Djibouti, China's development of its first overseas military base just a few miles away has been cause for concern for the USA, illustrating the military side of a broader competition between the US and China playing out across the continent.

Terror attacks in Africa have claimed more than 1,500 lives in each of the past three years, Mr Tillerson said.

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Tillerson will also visit Kenya, where the political system is in turmoil over disputes related to President Uhuru Kenyatta's re-election.

He noted that by the year 2030, Africa would represent about one quarter of the world's workforce and by the year 2050, the population of the continent is expected to double to more than 2.5 billion people - with 70 per cent of them under the age of 30.

Last month, three United Nations aid agencies and the National Bureau of Statistics described the food situation as alarming with over seven million people in South Sudan estimated to be food insecure.

Of the newly-announced funds, almost $184 million is for affected populations in South Sudan and more than $110 million is for millions vulnerable in Ethiopia. The energy behemoth has significant business dealings in sub-Saharan Africa, including in Chad, Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea.

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