Hillary Clinton’s 7 Country Africa Tour
The Obama Administration is sending strong signals to African stakeholders that it will engage Africa and African Governments with more fervor than ever before and as equal partners.
In a briefing today, Ambassador Johnnie Carson, who is the Administration’s lead man on Africa policy, said “I hope the United States is not lecturing anyone but in effect, having diplomatic discussions and dialogues….I think it’s important to respect African governments and leaders, to work with them to resolve problems and challenges that they have, and to engage and be able to engage on these issues. We have and should encourage countries, wherever they are, to do the same thing. If countries are not paying attention to human rights issues of child soldiers, bad governance, mismanagement, we need to talk to those governments about encouraging them to do the right thing, which is not only right for them, but also the countries that they deal with.”
He emphasized that the Secretary of State’s trip to Africa is the earliest of any administration and that coupled with the President’s trip 3 weeks ago, shows that the Administration is clearly making Africa a priority, despite several foreign policy crises around the world.
Secretary of State Clinton will travel to Kenya, South Africa, Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Liberia, and Cape Verde, starting on August 4 and returning to the United States on August 14. The trip will start at the U.S.-Sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum, known mostly as the AGOA Forum, in Nairobi, Kenya, where she will deliver a speech at the ministerial opening ceremony of the forum on August the 5th.
During this 7 Country, 11 day trip Secretary Clinton will emphasize America’s commitment to partner with governments, the private sector, non-governmental organizations and private citizens to build societies where each individual can realize their full potential.
According to Ambassador Carson, she will also stress the importance of facilitating social and economic entrepreneurship, encouraging a new generation of young African scientists, small business leaders, entrepreneurs, and civic leaders who are trying to seek real solutions to Africa’s challenging problems. The Secretary will also discuss ways to foster good, regional governance, partnering with regional leaders to ban together to prevent conflict and violence, including gender-based violence, democratic erosions, and transnational threats that challenge Africa.
We’ve included a video of Ambassador Carson’s briefing, where he details some of the issues she will take up at each stop and the significance of each country visit.