The United States’s top diplomat has arrived in Senegal at the start of a whistle-stop tour of three African countries, with analysts viewing it as a bid to counter Chinese influence in Africa at a time of growing confusion over Washington’s strategy on the continent.
On his first official trip to a sub-Saharan African country since taking office almost two years ago, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will also visit Angola and Ethiopia.
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Pompeo has already warned of what he called China’s “dangerous influence” on the African continent, saying in January that Chinese investment feeds corruption and undermines the rule of law, and presenting the US as an alternative.
Joseph Ochieno, a political analyst, called Pompeo’s comments “almost hypocritical”.
“I don’t think the US can tell Africa that American companies are necessarily the cleaner ones when it comes to the continent,” he told Al Jazeera, alluding to past corruption and patronage scandals involving US companies in Africa.