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US Secretary Ends Africa Tour with a Bang

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo surely annoyed Pretoria and probably wrong-footed his country’s own embassy in Pretoria when he bluntly criticised the South African government’s plans to expropriate land without compensation on Wednesday as an example of failed socialist policies in Africa.  Pompeo, who was completing his first visit to Africa as state secretary, took a swipe at land reform in a major US Africa policy speech at the UN Economic Commission for Africa (Uneca) in Addis Ababa, in which he heavily underscored the benefits of free enterprise as the only path to economic prosperity for Africa. “Centralised planning hasn’t worked – look at the failed socialist experiments of years past in Zimbabwe, in Tanzania and right here in Ethiopia. Even now, as we stand here today, South Africa is debating an amendment to permit the expropriation of private property without compensation. That would be disastrous for that economy and most importantly for the South African people. “Socialist schemes haven’t economically liberated this continent’s poorest people. But we all – everyone in this room – know the right way forward. Basic strong rule of law, respect for property rights, regulation that encourages investment. You need to get the basic