February 5, 2020

U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo heads to sub-Saharan Africa later this month for a week, his first diplomatic trip to the continent.

The Secretary is expected to arrive in Dakar, Senegal on February 15 and will travel across three nations: Angola, Ethiopia and Senegal, meeting with African Heads of state, along with their senior cabinet members to mull mutual economic, security and counterterrorism agendas.

Secretary Pompeo’s trip to Africa, comes in the midst of dynamic changes and uncertainties in partnerships between the U.S. and African nations due to punitive actions placed on certain African nations by the Trump administration in recent months.

The trip is expected to quell any doubts about the relations between the U.S. and the continent and the Trump administration’s commitment to strengthening partnerships across sub Saharan Africa.

Late in January, the Trump administration added four African nations— Eritrea, Nigeria, Tanzania and Sudan, to its expanded travel ban list, banning potential new immigrants from these countries from resettling in the U.S. 

The news caused uproar from business leaders from all major industries and non-government organizations within the U.S., many have urged the administration to reconsider its immigration ban.

While in Senegal, Secretary Pompeo will meet with President Macky Sall and Foreign Minister Amadou Ba to discuss how to deepen and strengthen bilateral security and economic partnership between the two countries.

Upon departure from Senegal, Mr. Pompeo will travel to Angola, arriving there on Monday, Feb. 17, where he will meet with Angola’s President Joao Lourenço and Foreign Minister Manuel Augusto to reaffirm U.S. support for Angola’s anti-corruption and democratization efforts.  

The American top diplomat will also meet with economic stakeholders and the business community in Angola to discuss anti-corruption, and the growing bilateral trade and investment opportunities.

Secretary Pompeo will wrap-up his first Africa trip in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, arriving there on February 17 and departing on February 19.  

During his visit to Addis Ababa, he will meet with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde to discuss joint efforts to promote regional security and to support Ethiopia’s historic political and economic reform agenda.  

Secretary Pompeo will also visit the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, where he is scheduled to deliver a speech for a meeting with African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat.

Secretary Pompeo traveled to Egypt in 2019 for a diplomatic visit.

From Africa, the Secretary will head to the Middle East, where he will stop in Riyadh from February 19-21 to discuss regional and bilateral issues — including Iran, Yemen, and human rights — with the Saudi leadership. 

The Secretary will then travel to Oman to express his condolences on the death of Oman’s Sultan Qaboos bin Said and to meet with Sultan Haitham bin Tarik to underscore the United States’ steadfast partnership with Oman.

*This article has been updated.