Department of State officials stated the USA position yesterday during a background briefing ahead of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's first trip to Africa.
The trip marks Tillerson's first official appearance in the region, and will see the secretary reaffirming ties with Chad, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Nigeria.
"This growing population of young people, if left without jobs and a hope for the future, will create new ways for terrorists to exploit the next generation, subverting stability and derailing democratic governments", Tillerson said.
Tillerson will face tough questions on the administration's plans to cut funding for United Nations peacekeeping, particularly given that African nations, including Ethiopia and Nigeria, where Tillerson will visit, contribute a large portion of the troops that make up numerous missions.
He said the United States recognizes that Nigeria would be the third most populous country in the world by 2050, and as such was anxious about the complex political issues and ethnic and tribal issues and security issues it is now contending with.
While absent from the State Department's official announcement of Tillerson's visit, recent reports have cited rising Chinese influence in Africa as a key reason for the trip.
Tillerson had reiterated the importance of democracy for Africa to achieve her potentials.
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John Kerry, former secretary of state, visited the country shortly before the election. It's only five countries out of over fifty and the trends that are going on for economic development, public health, education and agriculture, and governance have all been ignored and papered over by the constant talk of Boko Haram, or other insurgent movements in the arc of instability.
Geng said China's financing support to Africa is mainly in infrastructure and production areas.
"Our country's security and economic prosperity are linked with Africa's like never before", said Tillerson. "Security partnerships are important, but they are invisible to a lot of people, and so leave U.S. engagement invisible as well".
But then the results never lived up to the promise.
Certainly the USA has slipped behind China, which has built huge infrastructure projects across Africa (including a transnational railroad in Djibouti) largely financed by big long-term loans.
The department explained that obviously, a lot of those African countries were still fragile democracies and the U.S. was trying to strengthen them. "We certainly don't want Africa falling back into another debt trap like the one that was so debilitating in the 70s and 80s", he says.
What the USA should be doing, she adds, is demonstrating that the option of "broad-based, productive, and sustained partnerships" with United States public and private sectors is more than Washington rhetoric.