Ordinarily, a visit to Africa by a senior US minister should be a big deal. It should significantly move the dial in trade, investment, humanitarian and aid relations with the host country. But this week’s Africa visit by Janet Yellen, the US finance minister, is unlikely to yield much.

Yellen, former head of the US Federal Reserve, is due to start a three-nation working visit including SA, Senegal and Zambia. Later in the year her boss, President Joe Biden, his deputy Kamala Harris, US trade representative Katherine Tai and commerce secretary Gina Raimondo will visit the continent...

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