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The United States was confirmed to have held talks with the African Union (AU) on methods to boost cooperation.

USA secretary of state Rex Tillerson is expected in Nairobi on Friday afternoon in his first trip to Africa as the top US diplomat.He is expected to hold talks with President Uhuru Kenyatta and other government officials in talks set to focus on continued support for the democratic process in Kenya, refugee issues, and press freedom, before he departs on Monday.

Speaking on Tuesday at George Mason University in the U.S. state of Virginia, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson panned Chinese financial practices on the African continent, saying they forced African countries into dependency and harmed growth.

In January, Trump caused outcry on the continent after reportedly saying that some African countries were "shitholes", prompting several nations to summon their USA ambassadors for explanation and demand apologies.

"And the evidence of the relations between Africa and the United States is personified through his (Tillerson's) visit; I believe reasonably this partnership has produced results".

"We are not in any way attempting to keep Chinese investment dollars out of Africa; they are badly needed".

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson this evening met President Uhuru Kenyatta at the beginning of his three-day visit in the country and assured him of his Government's commitment to Kenya on trade and security. "We hope China will join us in this effort as well".

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The growing Chinese lending to the continent has also attracted criticism from some Africans, who say China's agenda is to feed its appetite for African raw materials like oil, timber and minerals, and secure contracts for its firms.

"African countries should carefully consider terms of investments [by China] in Africa", he said.

Africa observers note that Secretary Tillerson's trip to Africa is a very welcome development.

"We have not yet won that battle in Somalia and we must stay at it", he said.

Tillerson and Faki discussed Chinese investment in the African Union Headquarters building, which was built by the Chinese.

"We have watched the activities and actions of others in the region, particularly China, and the financing mechanisms it brings to many of these countries, which result in saddling them with enormous levels of debt", he said at the time.

Many African leaders have noted that these concerns rarely come up when dealing with China. I think it is important that we listen to what the priorities of the countries here on the continent are.


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