U.S Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
is scheduled to leave Washington Monday on a seven-nation Africa visit. The
five day trip will
take her to Kenya, South Africa, Angola,
the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Liberia, and Cape Verde.
is expected to spotlight President Barack Obama's commitment to
making Africa a priority in U.S. foreign policy.
Her visit is the earliest in
any U.S. administration that both the President and the Secretary of State have
Onyejekwe, director of governance at the United Nations Economic
Commission for Africa told VOA that Clinton's Africa
visit will help concretize the core principles President Obama recently
unveiled in Accra, Ghana.
imagine that this is really a followup to President Obama's visit to Accra in
which he basically sketched out the general thrust of America's policy towards
Africa. And I think that it will be worthwhile if now she can operationalize
and concretize some of the raw principles which was contained in Obama's speech
in Accra," Onyejekwe
He said Clinton's stance
would replicate President Obama's message.
"Whatever position she takes
should reflect the broad principles which were contained in Obama's speech. And
here again I think that it's a question of carrot and stick," he said.
Onyejekwe said the visit
should shed light on a different America policy from previous administration.
"We are also expecting on
the continent in my judgment some consistency and flexibility in terms of U.S
policy. And here again I think where the difference can be made from past
administrations that had brought principles, but were very selective in terms
of the operationalization of those principles," Onyejekwe said.
Hillary Clinton is also
scheduled to meet Somalia's President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed in Kenya's
The meeting comes at a critical
moment for Somalia, which has not had a functioning government since 1991 after
long-time President Mohammed Siad Barre was overthrown.
Somalia today is home
to a growing number of hard-line Islamic insurgent groups including al-Shabab.
Onyejekwe said that
there is need for the international community as well as the Africa Union to
help stabilize the crisis in Somalia.
"It's important for the
global community and African states in particular to stabilize and normalize
the situation in Somalia for obvious reasons. One of which is that the threat
to peace and security in the sub-region is enormous and with external actors
also actively engaged," Onyejekwe said.
He said mistakes made during
the previous U. S administration should be avoided in attempting to resolvo the
crisis in Somalia.
"They must also take into
consideration the realities on the ground and the various actors so that they
do not make the same mistakes that were made during the Bush administration,"
Onyejekwe said there should
be a strong partnership of equals between the United States and Africa.