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US will continue aid to Africa, and boost investment despite cuts: Trump

U.S. President Donald J. Trump meets with African leaders on the sidelines at the UN General Assembly meeting in New York

NEW YORK – Amid allegations that the Trump administration has no clear policy position on Africa, US President Donald Trump, Sr informed an assembly of African leaders on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly that the United States remains committed to efforts aimed at bolstering health initiatives on the continent as well as in reassuring investment.

The US leader said, “We will continue our partnership on critical health initiatives,” despite his administration’s plans to decrease its foreign aid budget and money for global health programs.

Trump highlighted US contribution in advances made in fighting AIDS in Uganda and US efforts in battling Ebola in West Africa. He also told the African leaders that his Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tom Price, would visit Africa in the coming months.

A review of the current US budget as proposed by the Trump administration revealed that the State Department’s health programs would decline from 9 billion dollars to 6.9 billion dollars with huge decreases in aid to fight HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.

President Trump also touted the potential for US business investment in Africa.

Adding, “Africa has tremendous business potential, I have so many friends going to your countries trying to get rich. I congratulate you, they’re spending a lot of money.” Noting six of the 10 fasted growing economies are in Africa.

The US leader who is said to have branded African leaders as very corrupt, pledged US support in battling global and regional terrorism, including Boko Haram. Trump said the US is also monitoring violence in South Sudan and the Congo and revealing that the US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, would visit Africa soon.

Trump has never had much regard for African leaders because of their incapacity to govern corruption free. During one of his usual straight-talking speeches during the 2016 US presidential campaign, the then Republican candidate, said leaders of African countries steal money from their respective countries’ purse and invest the funds in foreign countries for personal gains while their citizens remain in poverty.
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Michael Harrington

Michael Harrington is a researcher and senior contributing reporter with Globe Afrique Media.

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