U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Thursday told African countries to be careful with Chinese loans and weigh them carefully.
He however said his country is not trying to keep Chinese investment away from Africa as he addressed a press conference together with the chairperson of the African Union Commission in Ethiopia.
“We are not in any way attempting to keep Chinese dollars from Africa,” Tillerson said during his first diplomatic trip to the continent.
“it is important that African countries carefully consider the terms of those agreements and not forfeit their sovereignty”, Tillerson further said.
The US top diplomat is visiting Africa months after the continent was outraged over some racial comments made by President Donald Trump referring to African countries as shitholes.
Tillerson earlier this week criticised “China’s approach” to Africa claiming it encouraged dependency through “opaque contracts” and “predatory loan practices”.
Tillerson is visiting Ethiopia and Kenya – both key U.S. allies in the fight against al Shabaab Islamist militants in Somalia.
He is also scheduled to visit tiny Djibouti, host to sprawling U.S., French and Chinese military bases.
In West Africa, Tillerson will visit Chad and Nigeria, both major oil-producers struggling to contain the Islamist Boko Haram insurgency.