News / Africa

Clinton Winds Down Africa Tour

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, meets with Ghana's President John Dramani Mahama, at his residence in Accra, Ghana, Aug. 9, 2012.U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, meets with Ghana's President John Dramani Mahama, at his residence in Accra, Ghana, Aug. 9, 2012.
x
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, meets with Ghana's President John Dramani Mahama, at his residence in Accra, Ghana, Aug. 9, 2012.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, meets with Ghana's President John Dramani Mahama, at his residence in Accra, Ghana, Aug. 9, 2012.
Anne Look
ACCRA, Ghana — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is attending the funeral of late Ghanian President John Atta Mills on Friday before heading to Benin, her last stop of an 11-day tour of the continent.

Clinton's trip to sub-Saharan Africa, likely her last as America's top diplomat, took her to nine countries, where she celebrated successes and addressed ongoing challenges with regards to security, economic cooperation and development goals, such as promoting women and eradicating HIV/AIDS. Clinton reaffirmed American support in these areas at each stop.
 
She called on African countries, in particular South Africa where she spent four days, to take their place on the world stage and to be less "wary" of intervention when it comes to protecting democratic values and human rights.
 
"Consider some of the problems we face today: an anemic global economy, trans-national crime and terrorism, climate change, disease, famine, nuclear proliferation," said Clinton. "None of these problems can be [solved] by any one country acting alone, or even several countries acting together. Each one calls for a global network of partners. Now I've often heard it said that African problems need African solutions. Well, I'm here to say that some of our global problems need African solutions too."
 
Analysts said Clinton's trip reflected Africa's growing strategic importance to the United States - not only with regards to security and counterterrorism but also energy. Analysts say Africa, in particular the Gulf of Guinea region, is rivaling the Persian Gulf as a source of oil imports.
 
Clinton stopped in Africa's top oil-producing nations like Nigeria, Ghana and South Sudan, as well as oil debutantes like Kenya and Uganda.
 
Razia Khan, the head of Africa research at London-based Standard Chartered Bank, said those stops were no accident.
 
"East Africa is increasingly seen as the new exploration hotspot in terms of oil and gas," said Khan. "Its proximity to more rapidly growing Asian economies means that a lot of trade will probably be focused on the Asia-Africa corridor."
 
Clinton never mentioned China by name, however many argue that countering China's economic dominance in Africa was, in fact, a key goal of this trip. Alex Vines, head of the Africa program at London-based think tank Chatham House, said the Clinton clearly had commercial interests in mind.
 
"Over the last year, there's been a significant push by the Obama administration to ensure that U.S. companies are more aggressive looking for market access and share," Vines said. "That's what this trip is about."
 
Sub-Saharan Africa is home to some of the world's fastest growing economies and populations. Clinton argued for greater trade among African countries and with the United States that she said would create jobs and economic growth on all sides.
 
Clinton referred frequently to President's Barack Obama's words in Ghana in 2009.

"Africa needs partnership, not patronage," he said. "Strong institutions, not strong men."

Clinton also praised democratic success in Senegal and Ghana, while calling for free, fair and peaceful elections in Kenya next year and continued progress in Somalia's political transition.
 
She scored a key diplomatic win in South Sudan which reached an agreement with its former rulers to the North to resume oil production, a move seen as essential to heading off imminent economic collapse and further conflict.
 
Clinton also reinforced economic and security cooperation with continent heavyweights and key strategic partners, South Africa and Nigeria.
 
Throughout her trip, the secretary consistently kept women on the agenda. Clinton reminded South Sudan, the world's newest nation, to "include women at every step" of its journey.
 
She praised the political climb of women in Senegal, where women occupy one of the largest percentages of seats in directly-elected legislative bodies in the world.
 
"And of course, it makes perfect sense because democracies must be open to and include all of their people, men and women, not just to vote, but to have the chance to participate and to lead," said Clinton.
 
Observers remarked that the secretary looked particularly "lit up inside" during her visit to Malawi, where she talked about sexual health and economic advancement with women and girls and met with the nation's new president Joyce Banda, Africa's second-ever female leader.
 
Clinton also met now 94-year-old former South African leader Nelson Mandela at his home in Qunu.
 
In a rare personal glimpse, the secretary went off script during her remarks in Cape Town and shared her own past yearnings for revenge during her up-and-down journey in American politics.
 
"It’s easy to lose sight of the common humanity of those who oppose you," she said. "You get to feeling that your way is the right way, that your agenda is the only one that will save the people.  And all of the sudden, you begin to dehumanize the opposition and the other."
 
A key turning point for her, she said, came at Mandela's inauguration in 1994, when the anti-apartheid leader called on his three white jailers to stand.
 
The men, Mandela said, had treated him like a human being during his 27 years of political imprisonment. He thanked them and said he had made the choice upon his release to let go of "bitterness and hatred" and work toward reconciliation.

You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory 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.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid