US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday closed a three-nation Africa tour with a thinly-veiled swipe at China as he talked up Washington's ability to stimulate growth and entrepreneurship on the continent.
"Countries should be wary of authoritarian regimes with empty promises. They breed corruption, dependency," Pompeo said in a speech to diplomats and business leaders at the UN's Economic Commission for Africa in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
"They run the risk that the prosperity and sovereignty and progress that Africa so needs and desperately wants won't happen."
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.
On Wednesday 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.
Source: National News Agency