Visiting Ethiopia, Tillerson criticizes Chinese presence in Africa

The US Secretary of State begins this Thursday, March 8 a six-day trip to the African continent.

Before traveling to Djibouti, Kenya, Chad and Nigeria, Rex Tillerson is in Ethiopia.

He was on Thursday morning at the headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa where he met with the chairman of the Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat.

The two men spoke about the fight against terrorism, but also the Chinese presence in Africa.

Rex Tillerson advised and caution African countries to be prudence in contracts signed with Chinese companies.

Contracts are not always beneficial for the countries of the continent, according to the head of the American diplomacy .

“They do not create enough jobs, locally, do not train enough people to participate more in the economy of their country in the future. And often the funding model is done in such a way that when the country is in financial difficulty, it loses control of its own infrastructure, its own resources,” said Rex Tillerson.

But Rex Tillerson refrains from giving lessons. “We are not trying to prevent Chinese investment in Africa, the continent is in dire need of it! However, we believe it is important for African countries to carefully consider the terms of these investments,” he added.

Sitting next to him at the press conference, AU Commission Chair Moussa Faki Mahamat does not seem to agree completely.

“I think Africans are mature enough to commit themselves, of their own free will, to partnerships that they feel are useful for their continent. I think we know exactly where our interests are,” he says.

Moussa Faki Mahamat had just visited China a few weeks ago.

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