Pompeo: South Africa Land Reform Plan Would Be 'Disastrous'

Pompeo made a pitch for the United States as Africa's investment partner in a three-nation tour of the continent

"Centralized planning hasn't worked - look at the failed socialist experiments of years past in Zimbabwe, Tanzania, and right here in Ethiopia".

And he criticised a proposed constitutional amendment in South Africa that would allow land to be expropriated without compensation.

Addressing reporters on Wednesday in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, Pompeo said for true inclusive and sustainable economic liberation, African economies needed strong rule of law, respect for property rights, and regulation that encourages investment.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa on 19 February 2020.

But African leaders would nonetheless "welcome his long-overdue engagement and focus on the positives as much as possible", Devermont said.

A 2017 government audit showed white people still own 72 per cent of private commercial farms.

"Countries should be wary of authoritarian regimes with empty promises". Pompeo made the comments during an address to the United Nations in Ethiopia, on the final day of his tour through Africa. They don't hire the local people, they don't train, they don't lead them.

The Trump administration has repeatedly sought to counter China's influence on the African continent by questioning the sustainability of China-funded projects and the ability of African nations to repay Chinese loans.

He confirmed that the United States was seeking a free trade agreement with Kenya, but did not offer new information on the negotiations that began earlier this month in Washington, DC.

US President Donald Trump drew South Africa's ire in 2018 when he waded into the racially charged land reform debate, instructing Pompeo at the time to look into "land seizures" from whites and what he falsely termed "the large-scale killing" of farmers. China, Africa's top trading partner for a decade now, is a major concern for the U.S.

Washington is now discussing military cuts in Africa, and the USA recently announced tightened visa rules targeting Africa's most populous country, Nigeria, as well as Tanzania, Sudan and Eritrea.

Countries such as Ethiopia have benefited from Chinese engagement, rendering Pompeo's message less effective, said Abel Abate Demissie, an Ethiopian political analyst.

"The fact that Chinese loans and sometimes grants have less bureaucracy also makes it quite convenient for Ethiopia and Africa at large", Abel said.

Abel also argues that Chinese finance more visible projects like roads and buildings while the Americans invest in fields like education and health. In Angola, he praised what he called the government's push to clean up rampant corruption of years past.



Other news