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U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Thursday that African countries should be careful not to forfeit their sovereignty when they accept loans from China, the continent’s biggest trading partner.
Tillerson is using his first diplomatic trip to the continent to bolster security alliances on a continent increasingly turning to Beijing for aid and trade. [L5N1QP17F]
He may also seek to smooth relations after U.S. President Trump reportedly dismissed some African nations as “shithole countries” in January. Trump later denied making the comment.
“We are not in any way attempting to keep Chinese dollars from Africa,” Tillerson told a news conference in the Ethiopian capital. “It is important that African countries carefully consider the terms of those agreements and not forfeit their sovereignty.”
The United States is the leading aid donor to Africa but China surpassed it as a trade partner in 2009. Beijing has pumped billions into infrastructure projects, though critics say the use of Chinese firms and labour undermines their value.
Tillerson said Chinese investments “do not bring significant job creation locally” and criticised how Beijing structures loans to African government.
If a government accepts a Chinese loan and “gets into trouble”, he said, it can “lose control of its own infrastructure or its own resources through default.” He did not give examples.
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.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, visiting Zimbabwe on Thursday, told reporters it was inappropriate for Tillerson to criticize China’s relationship with African countries.
“It was not appropriate to criticise the relations of his hosts — when he was a guest there — with another country,” he said. Many African governments enjoy close ties with both Washington and Beijing.
Kenya, for example, inaugurated a $3.2 billion railway funded by China last year. For the last three years, Kenya has received more than $100 million annually in U.S. security assistance.
Asked about Tillerson’s criticism of China’s approach on the continent, Kenya’s foreign affairs minister Monica Juma said: “This country is engaging with partners from across the world driven by our own interests and for our own value.”
Tillerson arrived in Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous nation, on Wednesday and visited the African Union headquarters on Thursday. The complex was funded and built by China and is seen as a symbol of Beijing’s thrust for influence and access to the continent’s natural resources.
Ethiopia is home to some of Beijing’s biggest investments, from a railway to Djibouti that opened last year to factories and industrial parks.
Earlier this week, Tillerson criticised “China’s approach” to Africa which he said encouraged dependency through “opaque contracts” and “predatory loan practices”.
Ethiopia’s prime minister resigned suddenly last month and a state of emergency was imposed but protests in the restive Oromia region have continued.
The secretary of state met Hailemariam Desalegn, who resigned as prime minister but is still acting in the post awaiting a replacement. Details of their discussions were not released.
Tillerson said after meeting his Ethiopian counterpart Workneh Gebeyehu that the answer to political turmoil in Ethiopia was greater freedoms.
“It is important that the country moves on past the state of emergency as quickly as possible,” he said.
Tillerson reiterated previous calls for African states to cut ties with North Korea.
North Korea has more than a dozen embassies on the continent. The Trump administration has said that Pyongyang earns hard currency from arms deals with African government and the trafficking of wildlife parts from Africa.
Tillerson is due to fly to Djibouti, host to military bases owned by the U.S., China, Japan, France, and Italy.
He will then visit Kenya, a key U.S. ally in the fight against al Shabaab Islamist militants in Somalia, before travelling to Chad and Nigeria, which are also battling to contain Islamist insurgents.
Analysts say Trump has focused mainly on security concerns in Africa at a time when China, Turkey and other nations are ramping up diplomatic and business links.
“When you look at the set of countries that are being visited I think it kind of reinforces the perception that security, indeed, is the overwhelming focus,” said Brahima Coulibaly, the director of the Africa Growth Initiative at Brookings Institution.
AGCO, Your Agriculture Company (NYSE:AGCO) (www.AGCOcorp.com), a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment, and its partners celebrated the launch of the new AGCO Agribusiness Qualification (AAQ) at Strathmore University in Kenya on 6 March 2018.
Twenty students have been enrolled on this brand-new program which is focused on developing the skills, leadership and strategic expertise to drive African agricultural prosperity.
The AAQ is a joint effort between AGCO, Strathmore Business School (SBS) in Nairobi, Harper Adams University in the UK and Kenya-based The Bridge Africa which runs programs to prepare graduates for employment. The qualification delivers an accredited two-year agribusiness program for students aged 20-30 who already hold a degree. On completion of the course, successful candidates may have the opportunity to join AGCO and its partners.
Welcoming guests to the launch event, Gary Collar, AGCO Senior Vice President and General Manager Asia-Pacific and Africa said: “This is an important day for agribusiness education in Africa and I warmly congratulate our new students on gaining their places on the program. The AAQ was initiated by AGCO as a direct response to attract and develop young talent in the crucial agribusiness sector. Together with our partners, we are making a long-term commitment to address the management skills’ shortage. We are determined to foster the expertise required to work successfully in the agricultural supply chain and tackle the current recruitment challenges our industry faces here.”
Chief Guest at the breakfast launch event at SBS was the Hon. Zeinab Hussein, Permanent Secretary for Post Training & Skills Development, Republic of Kenya, who spoke with students enrolled on the course.
AAQ participant Ernest Muchai remarked: “This program is unique as it has a wealth of experience behind it. I’m interested in enhancing productivity and using technology in agriculture so the AAQ is ideal. The opportunities available in agriculture are massive - not just for people interested in farming but for people who can offer services that farmers can benefit from.”
Fellow student Sharon Waswa adds: “Agricultural mechanization is the missing link between small-scale agriculture and commercial agriculture. By taking part in the AAQ, I hope to be able to help to bridge that gap. The only way that Africa can be transformed is through agricultural sector and this is where the opportunities are.”
The AAQ course syllabus has wide scope covering areas such as agricultural mechanization, leadership skills, business management, agricultural science, marketing and farm management. To provide essential on-the-ground, practical experience for students, the program includes workplace modules with AGCO and its business partners.
Commenting, Nuradin Osman, AGCO Vice President and General Manager Africa, said:
“The AAQ program is a catalyst for change in the agribusiness sector across Africa. We are all very proud and excited to see our vision for a new qualification become reality and wish our new students every success in their endeavours.”
For more information on the AAQ, visit https://goo.gl/uW9if6
To view a video of the students talking about the course and their aspirations for African agriculture, go to https://goo.gl/s9fMQr.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of AGCO Corporation.
Since 1993, Paul Biya has established mushroom universities across the national territory as showmanship rather than an intentional act aimed at providing solutions to the myriad problems that Cameroon face on a daily basis.
Ask Biya or his self acclaimed Professors to give the mission and Vision statements of the various state glorified primary Schools tagged Universities and see the embarrassment in their faces?
There isn't any state university that was founded on the foundation of a solid vision and mission statement.
Mission and vision statements are fundamental blue prints that are conceived as fundamental guiding principles that constantly rudely remind those managing it and its students of the purpose of being in that university.
So long as our universities won't cease being certificate mills, the graduands shall continue to be worthless institutions that weren't created to provide answers to questions but a problem creating institutions.
How can our universities continue to be
Theorists whereas the world today is gradually becoming practical inclined so that graduands can hitch freely inter grade into the mainstream society?
So long as our graduands aren't provided the leeway to become free thinkers, then our universities will continue to be empty and irrelevant structures where junk headed persons are awarded empty certificates.
The Electoral Commission of Elecam has published the list of candidates and the list with the majority carries the day. The Electoral Commission of the Elections Cameroon has just published the list of retained candidates for the March 25 Senatorial election. Following the list of 42 deposited by nine political parties by nine political parties that indicated their willingness to participate in the Senatorial election, only 36 were retained and 5 were rejected.
The Social Democratic Front, the main opposition party has withdrawn its list from the Central Region. The list of the Cameroon People's Democratic Movement and her ally,UNDP of Bello Bouba Maigari had retained their list in ten regions. The Social Democratic Front of John Fru Ndi shall contest in 5 regions: Adamawa, Centre, Littoral, North West, South West and West. ANDP( The National Alliance for Democracy and Progress of Hamadou Mustapha has been retained to contest in four regions (Far North, Littoral, South and South West) The CDU ( The Cameroon Democratic Union) of Adamou Ndam Njoya is retained to present candidates in( Littoral and West) UPC( Cameroon's People's Union) The emblematic political party is contesting in two regions ( Centre and Littoral) The National Salvation Front of Isa Tchorima Bakary another ally of the CPDM is contesting in the North.
UDP and UMS that aren't represented in the senate are presenting candidates only in a single region, that is in the North West for UDP and West for UMS. MRC of Maurice Kamto sees it as a miscarriage of justice and chasing of shadows because the present sociopolitical climate does not support such masquerade taking place tagged elections.
It's the only political party represented in the National Assembly that has opted for a boycott of the elections. It should be recalled that the senatorial college had been summoned for the 25th of March, 2018. The Senatorial election in Cameroon only vies for 70 seats as the president of the Republic has the latitude to appoint 30 persons to make up the 100 senate chamber.