Tuesday, August 04, 2009

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Africa: the 'Super Size Me' tour

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has returned to Africa for an 11-day, seven-country tour of the continent. I use the term “returned to Africa” because Hillary Clinton has been to Africa before, most recently accompanying President Obama during his visit to Egypt in May and in her role as the U.S. ‘First Lady’ during former U.S. President Bill Clinton’s administration. Some readers may not remember the 1997 whirlwind tour through Africa by Hillary Clinton together with her daughter Chelsea. They visited a record six African countries___ Uganda, Eritrea, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, South Africa, and Senegal.

Following is an excerpt from Ebony Magazine’s coverage of the 1997 trip to Africa:
Ebony Magazine – July 1997 issue (source: findarticles.com)

Hillary Clinton's triumphant trip to Africa; historic voyage marks the most extensive visit by a U.S. first lady

In the most extensive African trip ever undertaken by a U.S. first lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton visited six African countries and praised the largely untold story of the continent's social, economic and political progress. Donning African gowns and participating in African dances and ceremonies, the first lady, accompanied by daughter Chelsea, was greeted with the enthusiasm usually reserved for heads of state and movie stars.

Among the highlights of the trip were a visit with President Nelson Mandela to Robben Island, a tour of Soweto, and major speeches in South Africa and Uganda. She also visited Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Africa's newest country, Eritrea. Her first stop in Senegal was at Goree Island, where she peered through "The Door of No Return," through which slaves passed on their way to the dreaded Middle Passage of the Slave Trade. When she arrived in Dakar, Senegal, the first lady was greeted by Senegalese who danced and serenaded her with lyrics written especially for the occasion.

The Ebony magazine article went on to say…

As on all of her foreign trips, Clinton participated in roundtable discussions with prominent women and non-governmental organizations that are helping to build a new civil society. Famous all over the world for the African motto she used for the title of her book, It Takes A Village, Clinton visited for the first time some of the African village-models that inspired the motto. She later praised the efforts of villagers who have constructed their own houses and created health clinics and businesses.

The goodwill tour, undertaken at the request of President Clinton and the U.S. Department of State, was designed, according to her aides, "to underscore the United States' commitment to continued active engagement with the continent and to highlight the progress of democracy . . . women's empowerment and social investments in education, health care (including fighting AIDS), and our collective commitment to the survival and well-being of children." The first first lady to make an African trip of this kind, Clinton deliberately highlighted the positive. Although she did not ignore the massive and continuing problems of poverty, refugees and AIDS, she focused on models of hope.

"I want more Americans," she told reporters, "to know more about what is going on in Africa beyond what is often in the headlines, so if my coming here can bring more attention to the continent . . . I hope that will help Americans have a broader understanding of Africa and understand more fully the real stake we can have in a successful, prosperous, stable Africa in the future."

End excerpts from Ebony Magazine. Read the full article using link below.
Hillary Clinton's triumphant trip to Africa; historic voyage marks the most extensive visit by a U.S. first lady

Fast-forward to July 2009 (12 years later)

In a U.S. Department of State press release issued on July 27, 2009 Ian Kelly issued the following brief statement about the Secretary’s upcoming Africa trip:

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's Travel to Africa

Ian Kelly
Department Spokesman
Bureau of Public Affairs
Washington, DC
July 27, 2009

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will begin a seven-nation trip to Africa on August 5 at the 8th U.S. – Sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum (known as the AGOA Forum) in Nairobi, Kenya.

This trip will highlight the Obama administration’s commitment to making Africa a priority in U.S. foreign policy. This will be the earliest in any U.S. administration that both the President and the Secretary of State have visited Africa.

While in Kenya, Secretary Clinton will discuss new approaches to development, including an emphasis on investment and broad-based economic growth. The Secretary will be joined in Kenya by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, and Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Johnnie Carson.

During the visit to Kenya, the Secretary will deliver a speech at the Ministerial Opening Ceremony for the AGOA Forum, participate in bilateral meetings with Kenya’s senior leaders, discuss global hunger and agricultural issues at a major research institute, and engage with Kenyan citizens. She will also meet with Sheikh Sharif Amed, the President of Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government.

The Secretary will continue her travel with stops in South Africa, Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Liberia, and Cape Verde. In each nation, she will emphasize Africa as a place of opportunity, built on an ethic of responsibility. She will underline 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 potential.

In her bilateral meetings and other events, she will encourage new solutions to old challenges, harnessing the power of innovation and technology to provide a foundation for future stability, human development, and sustainable economic growth. She will 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 solving real problems and establishing new models for economic success and social advances, with women as full partners in this progress. And she will discuss ways to foster good regional governance, partnering with regional leaders to band together to prevent conflict and violence, including gender-based violence, democratic erosions, and transnational threats.

Following her visit to Cape Verde, the Secretary will return to Washington, DC.
End PRN: 2009/782

Note: The errors appearing in the official State Department press release above (dates, spelling) are not mine. The links to external websites have been added to the original document in order to provide bios of respective U.S. government officials.

The fact that Secretary Clinton will be traveling to the continent so shortly after President Obama’s visit to Ghana gives her an opportunity to further promote and clarify U.S. strategies and policies toward key sub-Saharan African countries during the Obama Administration and beyond (long term). This trip should also give the Secretary an opportunity to counter some of the criticism expressed by some African journalists, bloggers and news commentators over President Obama’s keynote speech to Africans delivered in Accra, Ghana on July 11th.

I believe that it is good that Hillary Clinton is finally coming out from under the pervasive shadow of President Obama’s huge popularity abroad (especially in Africa) and ‘struts her own stuff’ to America’s friends and allies in Africa. Let’s face it, Hillary is no pushover and she is also no greenhorn when it comes to foreign affairs and international (and domestic) crises and challenges.

Some contributors to Foreign Policy Magazine (i.e. David Rothkopf) have been giving the secretary a pretty hard time lately re: her life in the shadow of President Obama. To be fair much of the criticism one reads in the press about Hillary’s leadership style at the State Department is unfair. However, the fact that her husband, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, is visiting North Korea and has met with the reclusive leader Kim Jong Il on the same day that Secretary Clinton is to deliver an opening address at the 8th AGOA Forum in Nairobi is yet another PR blunder by planners at the White House and the State Department, similar to the President’s alleged upstaging of Clinton’s major foreign policy address at the Council on Foreign Relations earlier this month.

Madam Secretary – an obsessive FP blog about Hillary Clinton
Clinton is going to Africa next week 07/28/09
Clinton: New reality demands different 'global architecture' 07/15/09
Excerpts from Secretary Clinton’s major foreign policy address at the Council on Foreign Relations

The Cabe by Laura Rozen – reporting inside the foreign policy machine
Clinton to Africa 07/27/09
Holbrooke trumpets Clinton leadership after address 07/15/09
Excerpts from Clinton's foreign-policy speech (at the Council on Foreign Relations) 07/15/09
With foreign-policy speech, Clinton plans to raise her profile 07/09/09

David Rothkopf
Ker-plunk: why Clinton’s big speech didn’t make a big splash 07/16/09

It will be interesting to hear what Hillary has to say to African leaders and especially to the all of the people of Africa while on tour on the continent. As with the President’s visit to Ghana, ‘digital diplomacy’ via the use of social media, blogs, YouTube, and other forms of interactive online tools may play a large role in the success or failure of the Secretary’s trip.

CNN International - CNN Video
Clinton’s Digital Diplomacy at the U.S. State Department 08/03/09

PBS MediaShift with Mark Glaser
Public Diplomacy in the Digital Age, Part 1 by Mark Hannah 02/23/09

TED Blog – official blog of the Technology, Entertainment, and Design Conferences
http://blog.ted.com/2009/06/tedstate_today.php 06/03/09
A first-of-its-kind conference between the U.S. Department of State and leading thinkers and speakers at TEDTalks

The American Prospect
The Next Diplomatic Cable by Nancy Scola 07/27/09

The State Department’s Digital Diplomacy Footprint 06/05/09

DipNote – the U.S. Department of State official blog
Secretary Clinton launches virtual student foreign service initiative 05/13/09

MSNBC.com (Associated Press)
Hillary Clinton: E-diplomat 03/23/09

Which reminds me: Just the other day a staff member of the U.S. State Department’s new media team left a comment to my previous post about President Obama’s visit to Ghana and reactions to his foreign policy speech to Africans. The global feedback to President Obama’s speech has been substantial and it is still continuing. There is absolutely no shortage of dialogue, opinions, and viewpoints from people about how to improve U.S.-Africa policy and relations. Here are just a few of the many articles, editorials, and online forums surrounding President Obama’s Ghana visit and speech that I feel may be of interest to my readers:

Live Chat While Watching President Obama’s Speech in Ghana 07/11/09
Transcript of global webchat on President Obama’s speech in Accra, Ghana
Note: Thanks to Mark, the CO-NX webchat moderator for the U.S. Department of State and the Whitehouse during the President’s visit to Africa, for providing us with this information.

Foreign Policy Magazine
The Best Worst Country in Africa
Why Obama is going to Ghana, and why he should push for more progress when he arrives by E. Gyimah-Boadi 07/10/09
E. Gyimah-Boadi is the Executive Director of the Ghana Center for Democratic Development

Photo Essay: The Obamans Abroad by James Downie 07/24/09
A focus on the recent overseas travel of Vice-President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

FP Column – Argument
Obama’s Trash Talk
Why Obama gets it wrong on Africa by Andrew M. Mwenda 07/15/09
Andrew M. Mwenda is Editor-Chief of The Independent newsmagazine (Kampala, Uganda)

Our reply to Obama by O. Natty B. Davis 07/16/09
Liberian government minister responds to Obama’s Ghana address to Africa

Nigeria, a Violent Window of Opportunity by Mark Schneider and Nnamdi Obasi 07/17/09

FP Column: Interview
Aiding the Future: Does U.S. foreign assistance really work? by Michael Wilkerson 07/20/09 – the FP/Oxfam America panel discussion on aid effectiveness

FP Column: Letters
What’s Ailing Africa? by Chanda Chisala 06/22/09
A countrywoman of Zambian economist Dambisa Moyo reflects upon the ill effects of foreign aid to Africa. See related article The Next Big Thing: Africa by Dambisa Moyo, May/June 2009

NPR – National Public Radio (USA)
Foreign Policy: He's Not Our Savior by Andrew Mwenda

C-SPAN (Washington DC, USA)
Washington Journal program, July 11, 2009: President Obama Travels to Africa
Interview with economist George Ayittey (American University, Washington DC) and Q&A with C-Span viewers (video, approximately 30 minutes with Professor George Ayittey – ‘Hat Tip’ to Shay over at Booker Rising for the lead on the Ayittey video)

Newsweek – Newsweek Voices with Fareed Zakaria
Africa's New Path 07/18/09
Interview with Rwandan President Paul Kagame on Rwanda’s successes 15 years after the 1994 genocide and his views on President Obama’s speech in Ghana

The Root (TheRoot.com)
Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka on Obama in Africa: Obama's Choice 07/14/09
The Nigerian author and Nobel laureate dissects Obama’s trip to Ghana and the message it should send to the corrupt and failing states of Africa

Kenya and the AGOA Forum

The visit to Kenya by senior U.S. government officials including the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson, the U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, and U.S. Secretary for Agriculture Tom Vilsack along with an entourage of more than 250 American business leaders and government officials from the Department of Commerce, Transportation, and others is unprecedented in the history of U.S.-Kenya relations. This will be Hillary Clinton’s first (official) visit to Kenya and to the capital Nairobi, which is the location of the 8th AGOA Forum and the Kenyan Private Sector Forum.

Of course senior U.S. government officials have been attending opening ceremonies at AGOA forums since the first AGOA Forum opened in Washington D.C. back in October 2001. That’s correct, the first AGOA Forum was NOT hastily cancelled after the terrorist attacks on the United States in September 2001, a fact that some people conveniently overlook. Former U.S. President George W. Bush along with key members of his cabinet was in attendance. President Bush delivered the opening address at that first AGOA conference.

Note: Read more about the U.S. Government’s AGOA program including speeches, remarks, and economic and trade data from previous AGOA conferences by following the links provided in Additional Resources at the end of this post. Pay particular attention the articles and resources at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the AGOA website, and the AGOA Info website.

Back to the future: Has U.S.-Africa policy really changed?

When you compare the June 1997 article from Ebony Magazine to the State Department press release of July 27, 2009 it is evident that Secretary Clinton will be dealing with many of the same issues and themes that she championed 12 years ago. This is interesting when you consider how much has changed on the African continent and around the world since the year 1997. Something that I will be looking for in Secretary Clinton’s statements and speeches will be signs of continuity and consistency in U.S. foreign policy toward African countries in comparison to the policies of previous U.S. administrations.

The Wall Street Journal
Eliot Cohen: What’s Different About the Obama Foreign Policy?
Editorial from Eliot Cohen (John Hopkins University) on the striking continuities between the Bush and Obama administrations on U.S. foreign policy

The Economist
Barack Obama and Africa: How different is his policy? 07/16/09

History News Network
The Moderometer: Charting Obama’s Zig-Zag ... Step Left Domestically, Gesture Left Globally, but Keep Your Foreign Policies Somewhat Centered by Gil Troy 08/03/09

Barack Obama's Foreign Policy: The Five Pillars 07/13/09

I shall also be watching for a major policy statement regarding security concerns in the Horn of Africa and in East African countries, especially how the U.S. government plans to work with the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia and the leaders of the autonomous regions of Somaliland and Puntland. As Clinton speaks with the Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed in Nairobi, I do hope that she will also be meeting with African Union leaders regarding the struggling AMISOM mission in order to help counter the growing threat by Islamic extremists and militias in Somalia (BBC News: Meeting Somalia’s Al-Shabab).

Security worries and the growing Somali refugee crisis should be a major concern in Kenya while in other East African countries like Tanzania and Uganda everything is (relatively) peaceful. Which makes you wonder, why was Nairobi selected as the venue for this year’s AGOA Forum in the first place? Why didn’t they choose a much safer East African city like Arusha or Dar es Saalam (Tanzania) or Uganda’s capital city (Kampala)?

It is also interesting to note that five countries (Eritrea, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, and Senegal) previously visited by ‘First Lady’ Hillary Clinton in 1997 have been left off the itinerary of Secretary Clinton’s 2009 Africa tour. Only one African country apparently deserved a repeat visit (Clinton will make three stops in South Africa). Perhaps one shouldn’t read too much into that little factoid, but nonetheless, I wonder why she is returning to South Africa and not visiting Rwanda or Botswana, both countries are good examples of how democracy is taking hold and working in Africa.

Here is some recommended reading material for Madam Secretary Clinton while she is country-hopping around the African continent this week:

The New York Times
Radical Islamists Slip Easily Into Kenya by Jeffrey Gettleman 07/21/09
Al Shabab and Al Qaeda may be crossing the border from Somalia into Kenya

Fears in the West about Al Qaeda Affiliate’s Boldness in Africa 07/09/09
The U.S. military (AFRICOM) is helping train West and North African soldiers to fight against the rise in terrorist activity and attacks by Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb

Letter from China - U.S. Finding Its Voice in Africa Again by Howard French 07/17/09
Howard French was a former bureau chief (Shanghai, West Africa) for the New York Times. He now teaches at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Op-Ed Contributor (Kofi Annan) - Africa and the International Court 06/29/09
Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, on the ‘responsibility to protect’ and the responsibility of African leaders to support the International Criminal Court in bringing to trial leaders charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity

An Interview with Joseph Kabila by Jeffrey Gettleman 04/03/09
A rare interview with the president of the Democratic Republic of Congo

The Washington Post
Clinton to meet Somali president in Africa trip 07/27/09
Corruption Cop: A Conversation with Nigerian Anti-Corruption Crusader Nuhu Ribadu 05/24/09

PBS Frontline World
FRONTLINE/WORLD: The Business of Bribes: Lowell Bergman Investigates – Part 5
Former Nigerian anti-corruption chief Nuhu Ribadu talks to Frontline World about corruption in Africa 05/15/09

Global Post
Worldview: Africa's moment? by Mort Rosenblum 07/07/09
Opinion: hints of light in a not so dark continent
Interview: Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga by Mark Scheffler 07/21/09 (Updated)
An interview with the Kenyan PM during his U.S. visit in May 2009

(The East African)
Kenya: U.S. Embassy Boosts Anti-Graft Book As Smug Kenya Government Looks On 07/27/09
The explosive exposé ‘It’s Our Turn to Eat: The Story of a Kenyan Whistleblower’ about the life of former Kenyan anti-corruption chief John Kithongo and how corruption works at the highest levels of Kenyan politics and business.

The Daily Nation (Kenya)
Secrets of book about John Kithongo ‘It’s Our Turn to Eat’ 02/15/09
The groundbreaking book about the life of former Kenyan anti-corruption chief John Githongo and corruption in Kenyan politics and business

Royal African Society (UK)
It’s Our Turn to Eat. The Story of a Kenyan Whistleblower
An editorial on the release of the book by the author Michela Wrong

U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs – Public Hearings
New Challenges for International Peacekeeping July 29, 2009
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Dr. Susan E. Rice, gives testimony on America’s commitment to international peacekeeping operations and conflict resolution in Africa (Sudan, DR Congo, and Somalia)

Sudan: U.S. Policy and Implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement July 29, 2009
John Prendergast (co-founder of the Enough Project), SPLM Secretary General Pagan Amum Okiech, former U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan Richard S. Williamson

U.S. Department of State YouTube Channel
Video of Ambassador Susan E. Rice’s July 29th testimony on international peacekeeping before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs

Associated Press (source: Google News)
US warns Eritrea over activity in Somalia 07/29/09

BBC News
Mugabe calls US envoy 'an idiot' 07/06/09
Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe insults Obama’s lead diplomat for Africa on the sidelines of the 13th African Union Summit in Sirte, Libya. There have been no apologies to date from the African Union leadership about this embarrassing incident.
Summit takes AU back to its roots 07/01/09
A report about the 13th African Union Summit in Sirte, Libya

Country-hopping around Africa

The list of African nations that Secretary Clinton will be visiting is impressive, especially the selection of Liberia (America’s closest ally in Africa), Nigeria (the giant of Africa), the Democratic Republic of Congo (Yes Lord! Secretary Clinton is scheduled to travel to the eastern DRC to learn what’s been going on with her own eyes and ears). I am assured that Clinton’s visit to Goma in the eastern DR Congo, her talks with the female victims of incredible sexual violence at the hands of the Interahamwe (Hutu militias) and regular Congolese army soldiers, the poverty and hopelessness she will see in the eyes of women and children of the many refugee camps spread across the region, will change her outlook on life___ forever.

Hillary Clinton will also be visiting the nation of Angola, America’s (and China’s) largest African supplier of petroleum. Angola was formerly a self-declared Marxist state and a ‘bitter enemy’ of the United States during the Cold War years. Angola (historically called the Kingdom of Kongo – 15th century) was also a major source of black African slaves to the New World during the transatlantic slave trade. The first African slaves to arrive at a permanent settlement in Colonial America (Jamestown ca.1619-20) were from Angola. Today, Angola is America’s newest partner in sub-Saharan Africa for private capital investments. The Cape Verde Islands (cool those aching, tired feet of yours Hillary in the beautiful sand and surf of this West African paradise) will be the last stop on Madame Secretary’s 2009 Africa tour.

According to the State Department Secretary Clinton plans to meet not only with senior government officials and business leaders in the countries she will be visiting, she will also meet with African community leaders and activists, young entrepreneurs and students, and ordinary ‘working class’ folks. I believe that Secretary Clinton will hold a series of public town hall-style meetings, debates and forums. If this is true, exactly who has been invited to these events and how were they selected? I’m fairly certain that Secretary Clinton’s staff at the State Department along with staff from respective U.S. embassies have helped to select the attendees for these planned forums and roundtable discussions.

However, in case the invitation lists have not been finalized, here are a few of my tips for State Department staffers who are involved with the selection process. These are people that I feel Clinton should invite and listen to during her visit to Africa, people who have earned and enjoy respect and admiration not only from various online communities of bloggers and social networks, but who also deserve to be bathed in the spotlight of the international news media that will be following Secretary Clinton’s every word and move on this journey to Africa.

Ory Okolloh (Harvard educated lawyer, activist, and author of Kenyan Pundit)
TED Global Africa Conference June 2007

TEDTalks video: Ory Okolloh on becoming an activist
Ushaidi – a crisis mapping and online communication networking platform ‘Made in Kenya’

Daudi Were (Nairobi, Kenya) profile at Generation Kenya
Mentalacrobatics (the popular blog authored by Daudi Were)
Kenya Unlimited – an award-winning network of more than 600 Kenyan bloggers founded by Daudi Were that operated from 2005 thru 2007

Transcript of webchat with US Ambassador to Kenya 01/21/09
On the eve of President Obama’s inauguration, U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Michael E. Ranneberger hosted a webchat with citizens of Kenya on U.S.-Kenya relations

Kelele.org – Kelele 2009 Pan-African Blogger Conference
Kelele: First African Bloggers' Conference Scheduled for Nairobi, Kenya 07/22/09

James Shikwati (IREN, The African Executive)
Kenyan economist and publisher of The African Executive business magazine

Wangari Maathai
Founder of the Green Belt Movement and 2004 Nobel laureate

Angola, South Africa
Ana F. Santana (Angolan-born economic historian and educator, a graduate of the London School of Economics, and author of the K Faktor blog)

Ana on the growing economic and political relationship between Angola and China

Ana on the July 2009 speech by President Obama delivered in Accra, Ghana

Sokari Ekine (London, UK, Nigeria) – Nigerian activist and prolific writer, author/editor of the award-winning Black Looks group blog and online news editor at Pambazuka News (Oxford, UK)
G20 Voice – a citizen media project at the G20 Summit in London April 2009
Meet the G20Voice bloggers: 50 leading blog authors from around the globe

CNBC Africa video (source: VPod)
Live at 2009 G20 Summit in London: Bob Geldof, Daudi Were and Sokari Ekine

Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo
Cédric Kalonji (DR Congo, France) – a former journalist at Radio Okapi and one of the DR Congo’s top blog authors, presently living and studying in France. He was the first of 50 blog authors selected for the G20 Voices project at the 2009 G20 Summit in London. Cédric Kalonji’s personal blog and his work at Congoblog.net

Rosebell Kagumire (Kampala, Uganda) – Rosebell is an investigative journalist working presently at The Independent, a weekly news magazine published by Ugandan journalist/editor Andrew M. Mwenda. Rosebell’s personal blog (Rosebell’s Blog) was one of the winners of the 2008 Waxal Blogging Award for African Journalists. A profile of background can be found at McGill University Law School website for the 2007 Global Conference on the Prevention of Genocide.

Andrew M. Mwenda (publisher of The Independent weekly newsmagazine)

Pan-African Voices on U.S.-Africa Policy
Global Voices Online
Obama in Africa (Ghana) 2009 archives
Africa: Winners of the First African Blog Award for Journalists Announced 03/02/09

2008 Waxal Blogging Awards for African Journalists
A joint project sponsored by The Panos Institute – West Africa, Highway Africa (South Africa), and Global Voices Online (founded at The Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard University School of Law)

Related articles, editorials, and additional resources

DipNote – the U.S. Department of State official blog
Travel Diary: Secretary Clinton Departs for Africa 08/03/09
A New Era of Engagement 07/15/09
Summary of Secretary Clinton’s foreign policy address at the Council on Foreign Relations (full video and text)
Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) 07/14/09
Secretary Clinton address U.S. diplomacy and foreign aid reform at the USAID
A New Moment of Promise by Shanique Streete (U.S. Embassy in Accra, Ghana) 07/13/09
President Obama in Ghana 07/12/09
Townhall meeting by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to announce the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review 07/10/09 (text and video)

America.gov – Engaging the World
Briefing on Assistance to Somalia Transitional Federal Government 06/26/09
Opening Statement by Assistant Secretary-Designate Johnnie Carson 04/29/09
Testimony (confirmation hearing) by the new Assistant Secretary for African Affairs before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee
America.gov – Africa news and features

U.S. Department of State
Briefing on Secretary Clinton's Upcoming Trip to Africa by Johnnie Carson, Assistant Secretary - Bureau of African Affairs (text, video) 07/30/09
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Travel to Africa 07/27/09

U.S. Department of State – Bureau of African Affairs
“Confronting Drug Trafficking in West Africa” (PDF) 06/23/09
Testimony of Assistant Secretary Johnnie Carson (Bureau of African Affairs) before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs

AGOA – African Growth and Opportunity Act (USA)
AGOA Forums: Information, speeches, remarks and videos from the 1st through 8th AGOA Forums
Introduction: the 1st AGOA Forum held in Washington DC October 29-30, 2001
AGOA News and resources
The 8th Annual AGOA Forum official website (Nairobi, Kenya August 4-6, 2009)
AGOA Forum Seeks to Expand U.S.-Africa Trade and Investment (America.gov) 06/30/09
U.S.-African Trade Profile 2009 (PDF)

Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) - Ambassador Ron Kirk
"Toward a New U.S.-African Partnership on Trade and Development" by US Trade Representative Ron Kirk 08/03/09
Assistant U.S. Trade Representative Florie Liser Speaks About AGOA Forum (video and text) 08/01/09
"Trade Is Key to Africa’s Economic Growth" (USTR blog) 07/23/09
An interview with Assistant USTR for Africa Florizelle Liser ahead of the 8th AGOA Forum to be held in Nairobi, Kenya
Report Shows AGOA Continues to Grow and Diversify U.S.-Africa Trade (Office of the United States Trade Representative) – May 2008

AGOA Info (a portal operated by the Trade Law Centre for Southern Africa)
Envoy hails Clinton’s trip to Africa, focus on hunger, AGOA (America.gov) 08/01/09
Eighth AGOA Forum more critical than ever, says Ambassador Carson (America.gov) 07/29/09
Africa: Enhanced US market access critical (America.gov) 07/24/09
Kenyan farmers reap gloom from American market (Business Daily Africa) 07/23/09

The Corporate Council on Africa (Washington DC)
7th Biennial U.S. - Africa Business Summit Sep 29 – Oct 1, 2009 - Washington DC
CCA 2008 US-Africa Infrastructure Conference

VOA News
Clinton Leaves on a Seven-Nation Africa Visit 08/02/09
Article includes an audio interview with Professor Okey Onyejekwe – UNECA Director of Governance
Supporting The Somali People 08/03/09
An editorial reflecting the views of the US Government
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Visit Africa 07/28/09

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Don Thieme said...

WOW! This is the mother of all posts on the Clinton trip to Africa. What do you think of the awkward meeting with President Yar'Adua in Nigeria today?

Koluki said...

Hi Bill,

Always nice to visit this wonderful place of yours.

Great and resourceful post indeed!
Thanks for the attention to my related posts. I have also written specifically on Hillary's visit to Angola, in response to an 'Open Letter' addressed to her by local civil society and human rights activists (sorry, both are in Portuguese):


BRE said...

Thank you everyone for your kind comments re: this post about Hillary Clinton's Africa tour. Now that the 11-day trip is over I am working on a follow-up post or two on what she got right and what she could have done better.

Don, I have not had the opportunity to read very much about the Secretary's visit to Nigeria so I cannot comment on her meeting with Nigeria's president. If it was an awkward meeting as you say then that is very unfortunate. Clinton and U.S. Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Johnnie Carson have made enough mistakes on this trip already, especially during their visit to Angola and the DR Congo. So complicating U.S.-Nigeria relations by adding undue pressure on President Yar'Adua would not be in America's best interest. For all his faults he has been a close ally to the U.S.A. in a region of growing instability and uncertainty (West Africa). More on that later.

And finally to my dear Koluki:

I presumed that you would be following this trip very closely from your pearch in southern Africa. Secretary Clinton's warm reception in Angola's capital Luanda is encouraging as were the statements about U.S. movement toward more engagement with civil society leaders and organizations, young entrepreneurs and the Angolan business community, and more U.S. assistance for Angola's farmers and agriculture exports.

However, as in the Congo Clinton could have been and should have been much more upfront and honest about the troubled relationship between our two countries during post-independence and the Cold War years. Clinton should have been clearer in representing the American people's views and concerns over the Angolan government's misuse (corruption) and 'skimming' of revenues earned from the export of oil and diamonds. Billions of dollars in revenues remain missing from the Angolan treasury under the regime of President Santos, and someone needs to answer for this graft and corruption before any serious investment and trade between our two countries can move forward (see the latest Global Witness report on Angola).

However, we will take all the oil and gas you guys can pump from your offshore fields at Cabinda. Like the Chinese always say "Busines is business" and America unfortunately still needs your oil to keep our factories running, light and heat our homes, and drive around in gas-guzzling pickup trucks, imported limousines (BMW and Mercedes) and SUV's. America is still addicted to foreign oil and gas honey, and desperately searching for new 'fixers', despite anything that Secretary of Clinton said on her PR trip through Africa.