Mahamat said: "Yes, I confirm that I received a letter dated 25 January written by President Trump to me, and which I have also copied to all the leaders of Africa". Tillerson is also paying an official visit to the country as part of his trip to the continent. "This partnership has produced results. It is useful for both parties, whether in the area of trade or investment, or whether it is peace and stability in Africa".
Tillerson himself declined to address the remark, despite being asked about it twice.
Tillerson said after meeting his Ethiopian counterpart Workneh Gebeyehu that the answer to political turmoil in Ethiopia was greater freedoms.
As the largest global donor on global health, the United States has supported many programs that help people get healthcare in some of Africa's poorest countries.
"We informed him of our efforts aimed at establishing a market of more than a billion people, and to stress that a strong AU is in the interest, not only of the continent, but that of our partners also, including the U.S".
Mr Tillerson said USA is interested in widening its investment in Kenya as well as strengthening the bilateral and trade relations between the two countries. Aside from the announcement of more than $500 million of food and medical aid to fight starvation in several countries on the continent, made before he left, he has tamped down expectations for big announcements or new initiatives during the visit.
The AU expressing its disappointment said the remark by the USA president dishonours the celebrtaed American creed.
Tillerson said "the goal of my trip to this continent is to listen".More news: Collin Sexton could carry Alabama far this postseason
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Making matters worse, Meservey said there's increasing evidence China may be targeting financially-unsteady African countries in a cynical play to attain strategic assets through defaults.
"We are not in any way attempting to keep Chinese investment dollars out of Africa, they are badly needed", he said at the briefing with Faki.
According to him, the US message is for countries to consider carefully what the terms of those agreements are, and not forfeit any elements of their sovereignty as they enter into such arrangements with China.
Faki minced no words, all but rejecting Tillerson's argument.
Over the years, a shift in both U.S. policy and the emergence of other world economies - China in particular - has continuously chipped away at the dominance of the Americans, and the influence of the Super Power in African economies has waned significantly.
Investments underscore just how much China is outpacing the U.S.in Africa.
Analysts say the Trump administration has focused mainly on security concerns in Africa at a time when China, Turkey and other nations are ramping up diplomatic and business links.