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

Missouri Town Braces for Possible Racial Unrest

Situation in Ferguson hinges on whether white police officer will be indicted for August shooting death of unarmed black teen More

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of 1930s Deadly Famine

President Poroshenko compares Soviet-era ‘genocide’ to current tactics of pro-Russia rebels in Ukraine's east More

S. Philippines Convictions Elusive 5 Years After Election-related Killings

Officials vowed to deliver justice as the nation marked the anniversary of the country's worst political massacre that left 58 dead, more than half media 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.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid