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Pompeo's Africa visit is about Trump's China obsession


<b>Pompeo's Africa visit is about Trump's China obsession</b>Pompeo's visit is more likely "unfortunate coincidence" rather than a well-thought out diplomatic play by the US after its recent travel bans on more African countries
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Last year, the Trump administration imposed more travel bans on African countries that have a significant Muslim population. Under the restrictions, the US will no longer issue immigrant visas to Nigerians and Eritreans while citizens of Tanzania and Sudan will now be omitted from the United States' green card visa lottery scheme. In his first ever trip to Africa, US secretary of state Michael Pompeo confirmed that the US is considering pulling back some of its troops from the continent. If followed through, the withdrawal will come at a time when insecurity concerns in the Sahel region are significantly heightened as al-Qaeda and Islamic State off-shoots take hold of entire swaths of countries including Burkina Faso and Mali. Trump's Africa policy is to move away from its aid and grants to partnering more strategically and financially in trade and businesss across the continent, thus opening the door for more US companies to open up and pursue transactions across the continent. With that goal, Trump launched the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) with a $60 billion budget in 2018. As America's development bank, DFC helps businesses expand into emerging markets, finances solutions to the most critical challenges facing the developing world, and reinforces U.S. foreign policy and national security interests. The agency is also committed to continuing generating income for debt reduction. DFC invests in sectors ranging from critical infrastructure, energy, and technology to healthcare and financing for small businesses and women entrepreneurs. To ensure that all investments adhere to high standards and respect the environment, human rights, and worker rights, the agency monitors all projects from their inception to the conclusion of DFC financial support. Unpredictable macro events such as political instability could weaken the DFC's financial position. Much of the bank's total assets are comprised of loans that are relatively illiquid. Compared to the appropriate industry loan to deposit level of 90%, IDFC Bank's ratio of over 123.20% is unsustainably higher, which positions the bank in a risky spot given the significantly high liquidity disparity between loan and deposit levels. China trade with Africa overtook the United States back in 2009 and that gap has grown rapidly as the world's second largest economy has partnered with many African governments to help close an infrastructure gap common across many countries particularly in Sub Saharan Africa.  "China uses bribes, opaque agreements, and the strategic use of debt to hold states in Africa captive to Beijing's wishes and demands.", Bolton said, echoeing former US secretary of state Rex Tillerson's warning that the China model of economic development in Africa would push vulnerable countries into debt.

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