News / Africa

Clinton Urges S. Africa to Take Bigger Global Role

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton silhouetted by stage light, University of the Western Cape, South African, Aug. 8, 2012.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton silhouetted by stage light, University of the Western Cape, South African, Aug. 8, 2012.
Anne Look
CAPE TOWN — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wrapped up her visit to South Africa Wednesday with a speech to students at the University of the Western Cape, which she honored as a "vanguard" of the anti-apartheid movement.
 
Clinton called on South Africans to live up to the legacy of Nelson Mandela and the country to take a larger role in promoting democracy and human rights throughout the world.
 
Clinton told university students in Cape Town that it is up to them to define South Africa's future and approach to the world.
 
"You will decide whether South Africa moves forward and not backward. You will decide whether South Africa seeks to erase old dividing lines in global politics," she said. "You will decide whether South Africa sets aside old suspicions and instincts and embraces new partnerships tailored to 21st-century challenges."
 
Earlier in her visit, Clinton called South Africa the "centerpiece" of her 11-day tour of the continent, aimed at selling America's Africa strategy, defined as forming mutually beneficial partnerships with nations that bolster peace, democracy, human rights and economic growth. 
 
"Now I've often heard it said that African problems need African solutions," she said. "Well, I'm here to say that some of our global problems need African solutions too. And few nations on this continent can carry as much weight or be as effective partners and leaders as South Africa."
 
South Africa holds a rotating seat on the U.N. Security Council and currently holds the rotating presidency of the African Union.
 
Clinton spoke after two days of high-level talks aimed at promoting trade and American investment in South Africa, as well as addressing regional and global security issues.
 
"South Africa and the United States have not always seen eye-to-eye in this area, particularly at the height of the crises in Libya and Cote d'Ivoire, but the differences we have between us in these moments are over tactics not principals," she said. "That should not obscure our many shared goals, supporting the political transition in Somalia and combating piracy, from addressing the threat of terrorism and violent extremism across the Sahel to reinforcing the peace between Sudan and South Sudan."
 
Most recently, the United States and South Africa disagreed on proposed U.N. Security Council resolutions to sanction Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
 
South Africa, Clinton said, is one of many democracies in the "global South" that are "wary of intervention" into other countries' internal affairs.
 
"We all have to recognize that anywhere in any place where human rights are abused and democracy -- true democracy -- denied, the international community must apply pressure to help bring about positive change. No one understands that better than South Africa."
 
She also called on South Africa, the first country to voluntarily give up nuclear weapons, to play a greater role in curbing Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons and keeping nuclear materials out of the hands of terrorists, and she praised the country's role in the political transition in Zimbabwe -- the ongoing work of drafting a new constitution and organizing a referendum and ultimately free and fair elections.
 
"When old friends in power become corrupt and repressive, a decision by South Africa to stand on the side of freedom is not a sign that you are giving up on old allies," she said. "It's a reminder to yourselves and the world that your values don't stop at your borders." 
 
The U.S. and South Africa, Clinton said, share a "deep and abiding" connection founded in both countries' histories of confronting and healing from oppression.
 
Clinton began this visit to South Africa by visiting freedom fighter and former president Nelson Mandela at his home in Qunu.
 
She opened and closed her speech Wednesday with memories of her first trip to South Africa for the inauguration of the now 94-year-old leader.
 
Clinton called upon South Africa to continue Mandela's struggle for human dignity and opportunity not only at home, but also abroad.


Photo Gallery: Hillary Clinton's Africa Tour

  • Secretary of State Hillary Clinton greets Kofi Annan and his wife Nane Lagergren at the funeral of Ghana President John Atta Mills, in Accra, Ghana, August 10, 2012.
  • U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, left, meets with Ghana's President John Dramani Mahama, at his residence in Accra, Ghana, August 9, 2012.
  • U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a clinic at Delft township on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa, August 8, 2012.
  • South Africa's Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, left, and Hillary Clinton visit the Delft South Clinic in Delft South, a suburb of Cape Town, South Africa, August 8, 2012.
  • Hillary Clinton meets with former South Africa President Nelson Mandela and his wife Graca Machel at his home in Qunu, South Africa, August 6, 2012.
  • Hillary Clinton and South Africa's Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane see a rare snow flurry as they leave business meetings in Pretoria, South Africa, August 7, 2012.
  • Hillary Clinton walks out with African Union Chair-Designate Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma after their meeting at Brynterion Estate in Pretoria, South Africa, August 7, 2012.
  • Hillary Clinton dances with Emille Phiri, chair of the Lumbadzi Milk Bulking Group, Lilongwe, Malawi, August 5, 2012.
  • Hillary Clinton meets with Malawi's President Joyce Banda at the State House in Lilongwe, Malawi, August 5, 2012.
  • Kenya's President Mwai Kibaki, with Hillary Clinton (R) and his vice president Kalonzo Musyoka (L), leaves after a meeting at State House in Nairobi August 4, 2012.
  • Hillary Clinton is met by Uganda's Foreign Affairs Minister Okello Oryem upon arrival at Entebbe International Airport, August 3, 2012.
  • Hillary Clinton shakes hands with Bishop Elias Taban in Juba August 3, 2012.
  • Hillary Clinton meets with South Sudan President Salva Kiir, August 3, 2012, at the Presidential Office Building in Juba.
  • Hillary Clinton, accompanied by President Macky Sall, speaks at the Presidential Palace in Dakar, August 1, 2012.
  • Hillary Clinton shakes hands with staff from the U.S. Embassy in Dakar, August 1, 2012.
  • The shadow of Hillary Clinton on a Senegalese flag before she spoke at the University of Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar, Senegal, August 1, 2012.

You May Like

Myanmar Fighting Poses Dilemma for China

To gain some insight into conflict, VOA’s Steve Herman spoke with Min Zaw Oo, director of ceasefire negotiation and implementation at Myanmar Peace Center More

Australia Concerned Over Islamic State 'Brides'

Canberra believes there are between 30 and 40 Australian women who have taken part in terror attacks or are supporting the Islamic State terror network More

Recreational Marijuana Use Now Legal in Washington, DC

Law allows adults 21 and over to privately possess and smoke 0.05 kilogram of pot, and to grow small amounts of the plant More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More