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

    In Britain, The Sun Still Doesn’t Shine

    Invoking Spitfires and Merlin, Leave voters insist country can be great again, following surprising 'Brexit' vote last week

    Double Wave of Suicide Bombings Puts Lebanon, Refugees on Edge

    Following suicide bombings in Christian town of Al-Qaa, on Lebanon's northeast border with Syria, fears of further bombings have risen

    US Senators Warned on Zika After Failing to Pass Funding

    Zika threats and challenges, as well as issues of contraception and vaccines, spelled out as lawmakers point fingers

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeasti
    X
    June 29, 2016 6:15 PM
    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora