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The U.S. touts for business in Angola

The U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was touting American business in Angola on Monday (February 17) as the world's biggest economy battles rival superpower, China ,for economic influence on the African continent.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE MIKE POMPEO, SAYING:

"We'll do our part to help the Angolans achieve prosperity."

Angola is sub-Saharan Africa's third largest economy and second largest oil producer; U.S. corporations such as Exxon Mobil and Chevron have significant stakes there.


But despite those investments, the bulk of Angola's oil is destined for China which also holds the lion's share of Angola's foreign debt.

The Trump administration accuses China of predatory lending in Africa where Beijing has loaned governments billions of dollars in exchange for access to natural resources.

But some African governments question Donald Trump's own commitment to the continent.

The White House last month tightened visa restrictions on nationals from Sudan, Tanzania, Eritrea and Nigeria and West African governments are also worried about a proposed U.S. troop withdrawal from the region just as Islamist militants are gaining ground.

Pompeo told reporters that the U.S. needs to quote "get security right here" in order to enable economic growth.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE MIKE POMPEO, SAYING:

"Corruption is the enemy of a nations' growth and progress."

And he was also keen to denounce corruption. Angola is ranked as one of the world's most corrupt nations, although has seen a crackdown against graft since President Joao Lourenco took office in 2017.