News / Africa

Clinton Prepares for Economic-Oriented Africa Tour

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (file photo)
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (file photo)
Nico Colombant

Enhancing trade, development and regional security will be key priorities for U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on an Africa tour later this week.

After a stop in the United Arab Emirates to discuss Libya, Secretary Clinton will start the Africa portion of her trip with a scheduled visit to Zambia's capital, Lusaka, Friday.

There, she will speak at the African Growth and Opportunity Act ministerial forum.  The U.S. act, known by its acronym AGOA, provides preferential trade treatment, such as duty free entry, for some African products.

A Clinton spokesman said she would showcase what he called the "centerpiece" of U.S. trade policy with the continent.

J. Peter Pham, an Africa expert with the Washington-based Atlantic Council, says Clinton's participation is very meaningful.

"Any time senior level U.S. officials engage in Africa, it is very important because Africa suffers often from attention deficit in this town, in Washington," said Pham. "For our senior officials, with so many different challenges and crises around the world, unless there is a pressing calamity or some other disaster in Africa, Africa does not get that engagement."

Pham says he would like to see AGOA, in his words, "re-tooled" to encourage more U.S. investment in Africa and more imported African manufactured goods, beyond the prevalent energy sector.

Development expert Raymond Gilpin, with the United States Institute of Peace, shares these concerns, given that petroleum products account for more than 90 percent of the overall value of U.S. AGOA imports.

"Quite a significant amount of African exports to the United States are still non-AGOA," said Gilpin. "The lion share of AGOA trade is in the petroleum sector and not in the non-petroleum sectors where we would really want to foster sustainable and sustained economic progress as well.  To that extent, it seems a significant constituency in Africa has not been as engaged as it should be. Hopefully, this meeting will also highlight that fact and try to sensitize the key constituencies a lot more, work with chambers of commerce, work with civil society and business groups and work with African governments so that they could feel a greater sense of ownership."

After Zambia, Clinton will visit Tanzania, which in 2008 signed a nearly $700 million, five-year compact with the U.S. government Millennium Challenge Corporation. The money is going toward reducing poverty and stimulating economic growth with investments in transportation, energy and water.

Her other stop will be Ethiopia, a long standing U.S. security ally in the volatile east of Africa. Ethiopian Foreign Ministry spokesman Dina Mufti says that visit will be important as well.

"We do have cooperation in various fields," said Mufti. "We have economic cooperation, defense, etc. So we would like to boost this relationship and hopefully this relationship could be strengthened in tandem with the regional stability that we are looking for."

Renewed violence between northern and southern Sudanese as well as the ongoing fighting in Somalia are shared U.S, Ethiopian concerns.

But the leader of the main opposition coalition known as Medrek, former President Negasso Gidada, says he is very disappointed that, as far as he knows, no meeting between Clinton and Ethiopia's opposition has been scheduled.

The opposition leader says internal African politics are also very important. He says, as long as there are serious shortcomings in democracy and human rights, other priorities, such as development and stability, are at risk.

"I think the embassy here should still try to arrange the program so that she meets with us, because it is really a pity if she does not," Gidada said.

Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has been ruling Ethiopia for 20 years, with opposition accusations he denies elections are not free and fair. Planned social media led protests against the anniversary of his rule last month failed to garner much support, amid fears of an internal security crackdown.

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infectionsi
X
November 28, 2014 3:31 PM
South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infections

South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.

All About America

AppleAndroid