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

China’s Influence Grows With New Infrastructure Bank

Multibillion-dollar China-backed and BRICS-supported Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank seen as possible challenger to such lenders as IMF, World Bank More

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

Rabbi Michel Serfaty makes the rounds in his friendship bus to encourage dialogue and break down barriers between the two groups More

Post-deal Iran Leaders Need 'Economic Momentum' to Solidify

Economists say deal could inject more than $100 billion into coffers - not enough to entirely rescue ailing economy - but maybe adequate to create 'economic momentum' 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 Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impacti
X
Michael Bowman
June 28, 2015 10:05 PM
Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impact

Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Syrian Refugees Return to Tal Abyad

Syrian refugees in Turkey confirm they left their hometown of Tal Abyad because of intense fighting and coalition airstrikes, not because Kurdish fighters were engaged in ethnic cleansing, as some Turkish officials charged. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer, in Tal Abyad, finds that civilians coming back to the town agree, as we hear in this report narrated by Roger Wilkison.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Chemical-Sniffing Technology Fights Australia's Graffiti Vandals

Cities and towns all over the world spend huge amounts of resources battling graffiti writers who deface buildings, public transport vehicles and even monuments. Authorities in Sydney, Australia, hope a new chemical-sniffing technology finally will stop vandals from scribbling on walls in the passenger areas of commuter trains. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Cambodia Struggling to Curb Child Labor

Earlier this year a United Nations report found 10 percent of Cambodian children aged 7-14 are working – one of the highest rates in the region – and said one in four children in that age bracket are forced to quit school to help their families. Although the child labor rate has dropped over the past decade, Cambodia has a lot more to do – including keeping more children in school. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.

VOA Blogs