U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is back in the United States after a seven-nation tour of Africa.

Secretary Clinton's Africa trip was meant to follow-up on the policies outlined in President Barack Obama's speech before Ghana's parliament last month.

"At every stop, we have emphasized the importance of fulfilling what President Obama said in his historic speech in Ghana: The future of Africa is up to the Africans," she said.

From Kenya to Cape Verde, Clinton spoke of the link between economic progress and good governance, respect for the rule of law - especially as it relates to gender- and sexual-based violence. She also spoke of Washington's willingness to work with allies to end violence in the oil-rich Niger Delta and the Democratic Republic of Congo's troubled Kivu regions.

"This was a very important trip that both President Obama and I wanted to make early in the administration to send a very clear message that the Obama administration is committed to  developing an even stronger and closer relationship with, not just the governments, but especially the peoples of Africa," said Clinton.

Secretary Clinton promised continued support for the government in Somalia, called on Kenyan leaders to bring to justice those responsible for electoral violence, and urged the governments of Angola and Nigeria to do more to fight corruption in the oil sector.

She praised the government of Cap Verde for spending wisely money it is receiving from the U.S. Millennium Challenge Account.

Secretary Clinton said the United States and South Africa will work more closely to push for reforms in Zimbabwe. She said there should be presidential elections in Angola "in a timely manner" and continued electoral reforms in Liberia and Nigeria before their respective elections in 2011.

"Given the conflicts and the challenges that have often prevented the African people from realizing their full potential, the United States stands ready to be a partner and a friend," she added.
Secretary Clinton met with the presidents of Kenya, South Africa, Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria and Liberia, as well as the Prime Minister of Cape Verde.

"The most important part of this trip are the relationships that we have built, the commitments that we have discussed, the problems that we have honestly explored," said Clinton. "We have not shied away from raising the difficult problems that exist and stand in the way of the people of Africa realizing their potential. And I think that will stand the test of time."

State Department officials traveling with Secretary Clinton say she also discussed the Group of Eight leading industrialized nation's $20-billion food security initiative. That money is in addition to emergency humanitarian programs, and is meant to fight hunger by enabling small farmers to produce more of their own food by improving productivity.