US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has closed a three-nation Africa tour with a thinly-veiled swipe at China as he talked up Washington’s ability to stimulate growth of the economy.
Pompeo said in speech to diplomat and business leaders that countries should be wary of authoritarian regimes with empty promises, they breed corruption, dependency
“They run the risk that the prosperity and sovereignty and progress that Africa so needs and desperately wants won’t happen.” Said Pompeo.
Pompeo in his remarks did not explicitly mention China Africa’s largest trading partner but analysts predicted ahead of his trip that he would attempt to pitch the US as an alternative source of investment.
Early today Pompeo name-checked US companies operating in all three countries on his Africa tour, the first by a US cabinet-level official in 19 months: Bechtel in Senegal, Chevron in Angola and Coca-Cola in Ethiopia.
He also hailed the free market generally, blasting “failed socialist experiments of years past” in places like Zimbabwe and Tanzania.
And he criticized a proposed constitutional amendment in South Africa that would allow private property to be expropriated without compensation a plan that seeks to overcome inequalities set down in the apartheid era.