News / Africa

Clinton to Promote Economic Growth, Democracy on Africa Trip

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivers the keynote address in Washington, July 24, 2012.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivers the keynote address in Washington, July 24, 2012.
Anne Look
DAKAR — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton heads to Africa Tuesday for an 11-day tour focusing on strengthening democratic institutions, spurring economic growth and advancing security.

The State Department says Secretary Clinton will visit at least six countries on her tour, including South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Malawi, and South Africa in addition to Senegal.

The first stop will be Dakar, where she will give a speech that, according to a news release, will applaud "the resilience of Senegal's democratic institutions" and highlight "America's approach to partnership."

J. Peter Pham, the head of the Washington-based Michael S. Ansari Africa Center, said this trip reflects sub-Saharan Africa's growing strategic importance to the United States.

"Not only the potential dangers in vast ungoverned spaces to harbor terrorists and other extremists, a point driven home if by nothing than what has happened in Somalia in recent years as well as what is happening in northern Mali, but also the recognition of increased dependence of the United States on energy resources from Africa, both North Africa and the Gulf of Guinea area, which now surpass U.S. energy imports from the Persian Gulf region," said Pham.

This will be the secretary's first trip to Africa since the Obama administration released its new strategy toward sub-Saharan Africa in June. The policy has four pillars: strengthening democratic institutions; spurring economic growth, trade and investment; advancing peace and security; and promoting development.

Alex Vines, the head of the Africa program at London-based think tank Chatham House, said the trip is about "drumming up business for American companies."

"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," said Vines. "That's what this trip is about. This is very much a commercial trip."

Vines said increased U.S. commercial investment would be good for Africa, which is home to some of the world's fastest growing economies and populations.

"This is also kind of a delayed response to what China's been doing," he said. "Sub-Saharan Africa now is seen as more a continent of opportunity than risk and U.S. companies have been traditionally, except in the oil business, extremely conservative."

Last June, Secretary Clinton visited Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and Tanzania. During that trip, Clinton voiced concern about China's aid and investment practices in Africa, saying they are not always consistent with generally accepted international norms of transparency and good governance.

Pham of the Michael S. Ansari Africa Center said this trip is a chance for Secretary Clinton to make an argument for the benefits of U.S. Africa policy compared to engagements of other countries, including China.

"To draw the contrast that the comprehensive, long-term sustained approach is what is ultimately beneficial to African countries and their peoples as a whole rather than deals which may benefit political elite or may have short-term benefits but aren't sustainable in the long-term," he said.

Secretary Clinton's agenda includes nods to democratic success stories like Senegal and Malawi, which have both seen peaceful transitions of power this year, as well as strategic stops in Uganda and Kenya to look at regional security issues.

The State Department says Secretary Clinton will also visit South Sudan, the continent's newest nation, to "reaffirm U.S. support and to encourage progress in negotiations with Sudan to reach agreement on issues related to security, oil and citizenship."

The U.N. Security Council has given the two countries until Thursday to reach a peace agreement.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Marimba
August 01, 2012 2:59 PM
Sadly the plight of Zimbabwe and its citizens has been overlooked for many years by world leaders and not
much has changed. The fact that Zimbabwe has been
left out of this visit speaks volumes.


by: Anonymous
July 31, 2012 8:54 PM
Clinton is an outstanding International figer so it is good for African nations to use the oportunity for all issues.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid