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Vol 59 No 18

Published 14th September 2018

Turning down the volume

Washington’s new man in Africa is trying to relaunch his country’s diplomatic efforts in a much more crowded field

When Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta asked for advice about how to handle United States President Donald Trump during his state visit to Washington DC on 27 August, a lobbyist told him: 'Talk business and security.' It turned out to be a good steer, with Kenyatta emerging as Trump's man in Africa. The two hit it off at a press conference after the meeting, a far warmer show than Trump's painful meeting with Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari in May. However, Trump has shown next to no interest otherwise in Africa. His wife, Melania, has announced she will be making her first ever visit to Africa in October a month before the ruling Republicans face mid-term elections in which they could lose control of the House of Representatives.

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