2 August 2012

Africa: Clinton Begins Visit to Africa

New York — United States Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, on Tuesday began a 10-day trip to Africa, with stops in Senegal, Uganda, Kenya, South Sudan, Malawi and South Africa.

During her visit, Clinton would meet with leaders of those countries, in what a statement by the State Department said would be, "to emphasize US 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."

Though Nigeria was not listed among the countries she would be visiting, the Nigerian Ambassador to US, Prof. Adebowale Adefuye, on Monday night confirmed to THISDAY that Clinton would be visiting Nigeria. Adefuye said the US Secretary of State was initially billed to visit Nigeria on August 2, but a new date was being worked out because of the longstanding commitment of President Goodluck Jonathan to attend Jamaica's Independence anniversary celebration, and Trinidad and Tobago Emancipation Day.

President Jonathan departed Abuja on Tuesday and would among other activities lined up for his visit, review the Kambule Street Procession in Trinidad and Tobago, and attend a special commemorative session of parliament in his honour in Jamaica before returning to Abuja on Saturday. Also, sources at the State Department told THISDAY that Clinton's visit to Nigeria would still be incorporated into the 10-day African trip once a convenient date for both sides had been worked out.

State Department sources had last weekend told THISDAY that Clinton would be visiting Nigeria early August but government of both countries were still harmonising details of the visit. Clinton had visited Nigeria in August 2009, during which she urged the nation to embrace broad political reform, tackle corruption and ease tensions that had led to sectarian violence and disrupted oil production in the Niger Delta.

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