Washington — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is kicking off an official 10-day Africa tour during which she will meet with top leaders in countries across the continent to discuss pressing bilateral, regional and global issues.
“During this trip, the secretary will emphasize U.S. policy commitments outlined in the presidential policy directive — to strengthen democratic institutions, spur economic growth, advance peace and security as well as promote opportunity and development for all citizens,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a July 30 statement.
Announced in June, President Obama’s new policy directive on sub-Saharan Africa aims to enhance economic growth and advance democracy in the region by strengthening institutions for more open and accountable governance that protects human rights and values the rule of law.
Clinton’s July 31 to August 10 trip highlights these U.S. commitments and follows up on the policy’s implementation, Nuland said.
The secretary is scheduled to start her trip in Senegal, where she will meet with President Macky Sall and other national leaders ahead of delivering a speech to applaud the resilience of the country’s democratic institutions and outline America’s approach to partnership.
She is then set to visit South Sudan, where she will meet with President Salva Kiir Mayardit to reaffirm U.S. support for the new nation and to encourage progress in negotiations with Sudan on issues related to security, oil and citizenship.
In Uganda, Clinton will meet with President Yoweri Museveni to encourage the strengthening of democratic institutions and the protection of human rights, while also reinforcing Uganda as a key U.S. partner in promoting regional security through its efforts to counter the Lord’s Resistance Army. The vicious insurgent group has terrorized central Africa for more than 25 years.
The United States is continuing to provide training, equipment and logistical support for African military efforts across the affected region to eradicate the group.
Nuland said the secretary will also speak with Ugandan leaders about U.S. support in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Clinton will next visit Kenya, where she plans to meet with President Mwai Kibaki, Prime Minister Raila Odinga and other senior government officials to express her support for transparent, credible and nonviolent national elections in 2013. To underscore U.S. support for completing the political transition in Somalia by August 20, Nuland said, the secretary will also meet with President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed and other top officials.
She is scheduled to continue her trip in Malawi, visiting President Joyce Banda to discuss economic and political governance and reform.
Clinton is set to conclude her tour in South Africa, where she will pay her respects to democracy icon and former President Nelson Mandela. She will be joined there by a U.S. business delegation to participate in the U.S.–South Africa Strategic Dialogue, an event focused on strengthening ties through talks on issues of mutual concern and shared challenges.