12 March 2019

Africa: What Having New U.S. Official for Africa Means for the Continent

Photo: allafrica.com
Johannesburg, South Africa, top left and Luanda, Angola, bottom right

Cape Town — While on a visit to Kigali, Tibor P. Nagy, Jr, the Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of African Affairs, has introduced a new official and the role he will play on the continent.

Nagy announced that Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan will visit South Africa and Angola from March 12 to March 18 to hold discussions with government officials, and continue ongoing bilateral ties between the U.S. and the two countries.

Sullivan will be also broach the topic of the current land reform moves in South Africa with President Cyril Ramaphosa's administration and other experts on the issue.

Chicken imports has all but crippled the local chicken market in South Africa but was the only way in which the government could remain part of Agoa in 2016.

Nagy said "the agreements were made between the poultry organizations, not the governments, but that this can be discussed with the deputy secretary on his visit to South Africa".

The Agoa agreements will be expiring in 2025 and Nagy, on a question on whether the there would be an extension or a revision of the free trade agreements, reiterated that "Deputy Secretary Sullivan will be in a position to discuss the way forward with governments, but no negotiations will take place. He described the post-Agoa period as one of "uncertainty".

Nagy said that the U.S. has several companies operating in South Africa and contributes 10% towards the country's GDP.

Sullivan will then travel to Luanda in Angola to discuss bilateral agreements and security issues with President João Lorenzo while also meeting, and co-chairing the strategic dialogue meeting with Foreign Minister Manuel Augusto.

"We are delighted that high ranking officials have been visiting Africa," Nagy said. He described Angola as a "good news story" that has observers pleasantly surprised by the reforms brought about by President Lorenzo and his tackling of corruption. I am encouraged by the number of investors returning to Angola and said "the US Govt will continue to work with the Angolan Govt".
A part of this visit will also focus on environmental issues relating to the Okavango Delta which impacts Angola and many other countries in Southern Africa that are concerned about its well-being. This trip, Nagy said, fits in with the U.S.-Africa strategy.

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