Here Is What Africans Are Saying As Trump Visit’s Africa For The First Time

Ivanka Trump arrived in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, Sunday for a summit on African women’s economic inclusion and empowerment.

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In addition to attending the summit, the daughter of the U.S. president, who is also an advisor to her father, will meet with female workers in the coffee industry, and tour a female-run textile facility.

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However, Trump’s first speech on Africa, at the United Nations in September last year, mentioned the continent’s potential as a viable economic partner. This statement contrasted the discouraging signals he sent last July by walking out during the Africa session of the G-20 Summit in Hamburg to take a bilateral meeting.

European Council President Donald Tusk (4thL), U.S. President Donald Trump (C), Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (3rdL) and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (R) pose with African leaders after the family photo at the end of the expanded session at the G7 Summit in Taormina, Sicily, Italy, May 27, 2017.       REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer - RC165784CD60

The most visible U.S.-Africa programs include the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), first signed under President Clinton in 2000, which marked an important attempt to graduate U.S.-Africa relations from donor-recipient toward a trade partnership.

FILE - White House Advisor Ivanka Trump at the "2019 Prison Reform Summit" in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Apr. 1, 2019.

President Bush pushed for more humanitarian assistance to Africa, notably through his Emerging Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). President Obama’s programs included the Young African Leaders Initiative as well as the Power Africa.

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President Donald Trump signed a National Security Presidential Memorandum in February, establishing the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative. W-GDP says it hopes to “reach 50 million women by 2025, through the work of the the United States Government and its partners.”

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In the same vein, it was not immediately clear if the controversy that surrounds the U.S. president will follow his daughter to Africa. The president has not been kind in his remarks about Africa and its migrants.

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“I don’t think people will have a good feeling” said Ethiopian journalist Sisay Woubshet, about the president’s daughter visit to the Continent.

Marakle Tesfaye, an activist, said, however, “I think she’s coming genuinely to empower women and it’s good that she’s coming because she will push forward our agenda.”

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According to the initiative’s website, low participation of women in the formal labour markets impedes economic growth and poverty reduction in developing countries.

The project is financed by a $50m (ÂŁ38m) fund within the US international development aid agency (USAid).

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The Trump administration’s policy in Africa has focused on the war on terror and trying to manage the growing political and economic influence of Russia and China on the continent.

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It has, however, backed democratic reforms in countries like Ethiopia where Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has implemented a series of progressive changes including the normalisation of relations with Eritrea after a bitter border standoff going back two decades.

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The US also recently backed pro-democratic protests in Algeria and Sudan.

Mr Trump, however, upset many in the continent last year after he reportedly used the word “shithole” to describe African nations.

 

 

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