Trump sends letter to African leaders in wake of reportedly comparing nations to a ‘dirty toilet’
- President Donald Trump sent a letter to African leaders stating that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will made an “extended visit” to the continent in March.
- Many in Africa were taken aback by vulgar comments reportedly made by Trump after nearly a year of little attention to Africa by the Trump administration.
- Trump’s letter says the U.S. “profoundly respects” the partnerships and values shared by the U.S. and Africans and that the president’s commitment to strong relationships with African nations is “firm.”
President Donald Trump in a new letter to African leaders says he “deeply respects” the people of Africa and that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will make an “extended visit” to the continent in March, his first in that role.
The letter dated Thursday is addressed to African leaders as they gather for an African Union summit this weekend in Ethiopia’s capital.
U.S. diplomats have scrambled for days to address shock and condemnation after Trump’s reported comparison of African nations to a dirty toilet. Trump has said he didn’t use such language, while others present say he did.
Many in Africa were taken aback by the comments after nearly a year of little attention to Africa by the Trump administration.
On Friday, Trump met with Rwanda’s president and new African Union chair Paul Kagame at the World Economic Forum, calling Kagame a “friend.”
The 55-nation continental body’s summit is expected to respond to Trump’s vulgar remark. An AU spokeswoman has said the organization was “frankly alarmed” by the comments, and a number of African nations have spoken out or summoned U.S. diplomats to explain.
Trump’s letter, seen by The Associated Press and confirmed by two U.S. officials, says the U.S. “profoundly respects” the partnerships and values shared by the U.S. and Africans and that the president’s commitment to strong relationships with African nations is “firm.”
The letter offers Trump’s “deepest compliments” to the African leaders as they gather. It notes that U.S. soldiers are “fighting side by side” against extremism on the continent and that the U.S. is working to increase “free, fair and reciprocal trade” with African countries and partnering to “safeguard legal immigration.”
The letter gives no details on Tillerson’s upcoming visit.
Namibia Ranked 4th in SADC in Terms of Financial Inclusion
The latest results from the Namibia Financial Inclusion Survey (NFIS) indicate that the country’s banking population increased to 67.9 percent in 2017, up from 45 percent in 2011. In addition, the majority of the eligible banking population, 64.7 percent, said they consider Automated Teller Machines the most comfortable banking channel followed by bank branches at just over 58 percent.
“When comparing Namibia to other countries in the SADC region where the financial inclusion surveys have been implemented, Namibia is ranked fourth in terms of financial inclusion, with Seychelles topping the region,” said Statistician General and CEO of the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA), Alex Shimuafeni.
The results of the national survey, of which the target population was eligible members of private households, further indicated, at close to 60 percent, that the main barrier to banking was a lack of money for saving purposes while a marginal percentage (0.1 percent) reported the inconvenience of banking hours as a barrier to accessing financial services. The results also showed that the majority of the eligible population (32.5 percent) earns up to N$1000 per month with the main source of income being wages from private companies whilst government or parastatal wages ranked third at 10.3 percent.
In addition, approximately 19 percent of the eligible population reported having borrowed money in the past six months preceding the 2017 NFIS. The main reason for borrowing was for buying food but the main barrier to accessing credit was out of fear of increased debt.
The NFIS 2017 also revealed that close to 13 percent of adults in the country has or used credit or loan products from banks during the six months before the 2017 NFIS. “They could also be using other non-banking credit or loan products and/or borrowed from friends or family, but the defining characteristics are that they borrow (some or all of their credit) from a bank,” explained Shimuafeni.
Business persons in Tanzania pleads for Scrapping of Nuisance Taxes
Business persons in Kilimanjaro Region have pleaded with the government to scrap nuisance taxes and charges saying they are crippling their businesses and undermining growth.
Speaking here during a training to public officials and businesspersons from all districts of Kilimanjaro Region, the businessmen said there multitude of charges which have led to closure of many businesses in the region.