Archive for August, 2012

This is too cute not to share.  She’s such a good sport.  As you know, this was at yesterday’s Feed the Future event.

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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks to U.S. Embassy staff at the Ambassador s residence in Lilongwe, Malawi, on Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, on the first ever visit to Malawi by a U.S. Secretary of State. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, Pool)

Remarks to Embassy Staff and Families at U.S. Embassy Lilongwe


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Lilongwe, Malawi
August 5, 2012

AMBASSADOR JACKSON: Secretary Clinton, welcome to the warm heart of Africa and to the U.S. Mission in Malawi. (Applause.) This mission serves as a great example of the whole of government in action as we carry out President Obama’s priorities in Malawi. We know you as a can-do Secretary and one who cares passionately about those who represent the United States abroad – the American staff and their family members, the Peace Corps volunteers, and the locally-engaged and third-country staff. I’m very proud of every one of our employees. No matter what their job, they come to work every day with a can-do spirit to make Malawi a better place. We are honored that you have chosen to make Malawi the 106th country that have you have visited since becoming Secretary. (Applause.)

Colleagues, it is my privilege to introduce to you the Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. (Applause.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much. Thank you so very much, Ambassador. And I have to say it is an extraordinary pleasure to be here in Malawi. This is, of course, my first visit, and I am thrilled that I have finally gotten here. My husband, as some of you know, has been here and called me early this morning to tell me I was in for such a treat when I got to Malawi, as Jeanine said, the warm heart of Africa on such a beautiful day. But this is also, as a matter of fact, the first ever visit by a Secretary of State to Malawi. (Applause.) So I am pleased that I had a chance to come here and see all of the changes that are happening for myself. President Banda has already made critical reforms that are spurring economic recovery and improving the lives of the people of Malawi. And the United States will be alongside this government every step of the way to support and encourage Malawi’s progress.

I want to especially thank Ambassador Jackson for all of her work energizing and taking care of Mission Malawi over the last year. And as I just heard firsthand from the President and her top officials, the ambassador played a very important role on behalf of the United States in supporting the constitution and the laws of the country of Malawi. And also to Lisa Vickers for her work as DCM and her many months serving as charge before Ambassador Jackson’s arrival.

This mission is really on the front lines of so many of the Obama Administration’s flagship programs – Feed the Future, our Global Health Initiative, PEPFAR, the 1,000 Days Initiative to fight childhood malnutrition. We talk about these programs in Washington constantly, but it’s really important that we get out and see them ourselves and also thank the people, all of you, for the work you’re doing, the responsibilities you have for implementing these programs and delivering results.

I know this year has been particularly challenging with fuel shortages and water and electricity outages and rising prices. I commend all of you for your commitment, your creativity, keeping the spirits up while figuring out ways to work around whatever difficulty stood in the way and assisting in the smooth transition. During the brief suspension of our MCC compact, you really kept the lines of communication open with the Government and people of Malawi by explaining clearly and honestly why it was suspended and the reforms that needed to be made before it could be reinstated. You helped the public keep pressure on the government to do the right thing for Malawi.

And I want to thank all the Americans who are serving here and all of your families. I know that sometimes it’s challenging being away from home, but this is a pretty good place to be if you have to be away from home, and we really appreciate not only the work of our Foreign Service and civil service, but also the families as well. And as the Ambassador said, we are very grateful that this mission has so much representation from across the government, because this truly is a whole-of-government, U.S. Government team that we are working with all for the same results.

And I want all of our locally-employed staff to please raise your hand. Will all the – yay, all of them. (Applause.) Malawians who work here, thank you. We are so grateful to you, and we especially appreciate the difficulties that you sometimes face. I’m proud we were able to boost local wages to help offset some of the cost-of-living burden that you’ve been facing, but I know something from my own experience, which is that ambassadors come and go, and secretaries come and go, everyone comes and goes, except the locally-engaged staff, and you’re the backbone, the nerve center, the memory bank for this mission, and I want personally to express my appreciation. We do a lot of – yes, let’s give our locally-engaged team a round of applause. (Applause.)

I especially want to recognize our excellent health team – CDC, USAID, PEPFAR, every office that is helping to save lives by fighting HIV/AIDS, TB, and other deadly diseases. And just as important, the medical staff who work so hard to keep everyone at the Embassy healthy and drive all over the country looking after our Peace Corps volunteers. (Applause.) And I know you’ve already heard them, but – (laughter) – we are always pleased to see such a vibrant, enthusiastic group of Peace Corps volunteers, and this afternoon, I’m visiting the Peace Corps Camp Glow. I can’t wait to see this program in action for myself. I’ve heard so much about it. Peace Corps volunteers are helping young African girls here in Malawi find their voices and improve their own lives.

After that, I will tour a Feed the Future program. So thanks to all the help from USAID helping the dairy farmers in Malawi produce more milk and raise their incomes. (Applause.) I will have the great opportunity to deliver a bull to – (laughter) – the Feed the Future site, and no jokes allowed. (Laughter.) These kinds of projects might not always get the kind of attention that they deserve, but they are making a difference in the lives of so many men and women and children here in Malawi.

And I know sometimes it gets a little bit frustrating for our teams around the world, because you’re working to save babies’ lives and mothers’ lives and improve farmers’ incomes and help people who have HIV not get any sicker, and you’re working on good governance, and it’s hard to see what it is you do every day. Some other countries can point to big buildings they build and say, look what we’ve done. Well, we can point to lives we have saved and changed, and in the long run, I am so proud of that, because that’s what matters. Government-to-government relations are, of course, very important, and historically, traditionally, that’s what we’ve worked on. But in the 21st century, it’s people-to-people relations. It’s how we reach out and get to know somebody and build relationships and learn and then perhaps help if possible.

So you are a victim of your own success, because we keep sending more work and more people to this mission, and I thank you for your patience and for making room for everyone to have a workspace. I’m told it’s quite tight quarters in some areas, but no matter what your position or portfolio, everyone has a valuable contribution to make, and we have a real commitment to this country and its future. So please, thank you for everything every day.

And thank you for this trip. It’s a fabulous trip already, and I’m looking forward to my next stops, and I think probably when I leave and become the responsibility of our teams in South Africa, you all should just take a deep breath and relax, if that’s okay, Ambassador. Maybe even have one of those wheels-up parties that I always hear about. But in the meantime, please know back in Washington President Obama and I and all of us appreciate what you’re doing. We know what you’re doing, and we are going to continue supporting you. Thank you all. (Applause.)

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton asks Malawi staff to raise their hands during a visit with U.S. Embassy staff at the Ambassador s residence in Lilongwe, Malawi, on Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, on the first visit to Malawi by any U.S. Secretary of State. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, Pool)

She received perhaps her warmest welcome in Malawi but the buzz on the internet is that she and her party were sent scurrying on departure from Lilongwe when bees swarmed them at the airport. Mme. Secretary reportedly quickly took cover inside her plane. She looks fine today in South Africa.

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Public Schedule for August 6, 2012

Public Schedule

Washington, DC
August 6, 2012




Secretary Clinton is on foreign travel to Qunu, South Africa and Johannesburg, South Africa. Secretary Clinton is accompanied by Counselor Mills, Assistant Secretary Carson, Spokesperson Nuland, Director Sullivan, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs Grant Harris, and VADM Harry B. Harris, Jr., JCS. Please click here for more information.

12:00 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton meets with Nelson Mandela, in Qunu, South Africa.

5:00 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton attends the US-South Africa Business Partnership Summit, in Johannesburg, South Africa.

5:20 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton meets with the staff and families of Embassy Pretoria and Consulate General Johannesburg, in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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U.S Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) reacts during here visit to Malawi August 5, 2012. Clinton paid a lightning visit to Malawi on Sunday to congratulate its new president, Joyce Banda, one of only two female heads of state in Africa, for pulling her impoverished country back from the economic brink after a political crisis. REUTERS/Eldson Chagara (MALAWI – Tags: SOCIETY POLITICS)

The rumor mill has been whizzing out of control all weekend with stories of additional countries to be added to the already packed schedule for this trip.  Originally arranged as an 11-day trip,  the addition of  Turkey next Saturday for talks on Syria extends that by at least one day.  Within the African leg of the trip, Voice of America reports the inclusion of Ghana, Nigeria, and Benin.  The first was expected since the purpose is to attend the funeral of  Ghana’s late President John Atta Mills who passed away unexpectedly on July 24.  Sources for that early story appeared credible.  The Nigerian leg was announced by local sources last night.  Benin comes as a complete surprise since neither very early reports nor the buzzing rumor mill had ever mentioned a stop there.  VOA reports:

Clinton is due to fly to South Africa Sunday, and later on to Nigeria, Ghana and Benin.

In Ghana, she is expected to attend the state funeral of the country’s late president John Atta Mills.

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GLOW: Girls Leading Our World.

Remarks at Camp GLOW, Peace Corps, PEPFAR Event


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Lilongwe, Malawi
August 5, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much. Good afternoon.

AUDIENCE: Good afternoon.

SECRETARY CLINTON: It is such an honor and a pleasure for me to be here. I want to recognize all of the ministers and thank them for coming, for representing the Government of Malawi. I want to thank the head teacher and all of the teachers who are part of this program and who also provide the education for young women and young men throughout the year here in Malawi. I want to thank the director and all the volunteers from the Peace Corps who are here working. We are very proud of all of you. I wish to recognize the Ambassador from the United States to Malawi. And as it is said in southern Africa, all protocols observed. (Laughter.)

Thank you for this warm welcome. And thank you very much for being here and being part of this program about which I have already heard so much. And I have seen an excellent example of one young woman who is fulfilling the promise of the slogans and the curriculum and the efforts here at the camp to imbue young women with an understanding of their own internal talents and opportunities and aspirations, and then to develop your own God-given potential and make a contribution not only to your families and communities but indeed to your country.

And I’m very proud of our Peace Corps volunteers because they too are standing up for the idea that every young woman can make a difference in her own life and in her community. And it is a great pleasure for me always, as I travel around the world, to meet Peace Corps volunteers, who represent the great values and ideals of our nation.

I think your being here illustrates how important it is to give young people in the world today a chance to come together and to learn skills that will last you a lifetime. I had that opportunity growing up. I was a girl scout. I would go to camp. I would learn how to do things. I would feel good about myself because I had learned a new skill. I would have fun with the other girls. And it was a very worthwhile experience and important part of my development. And because I had role models that I could look up to, I knew that there were opportunities for me if I worked hard in school, I learned what I could, and then I put my education to work.

But of course, my biggest role model was my own mother and the work that she did not only raising us, but instilling in me the importance of an education and the importance of service of those of us who are educated, of those of us who can speak as well as you just did, making it possible to contribute.

And I had a wonderful meeting this morning with your President, President Banda. And I am so proud to come to a country with a woman President, who is setting an example, who herself is a leader and a role model. (Applause.)

I think it’s so important for those of us here this afternoon to realize that change is inevitable. We do not know what tomorrow or next year will bring, but we know that we have the opportunity, if we are well prepared, if we work together, to try to make it a better future. And when I think about your futures here in Malawi, I want you to know that the United States is your partner. You know that the Peace Corps volunteers are not only working with you, they’re cheering for you. They really believe in you. And to other programs of the United States Government – Feed the Future, we’re trying to help more farmers in Malawi do a better job to make more income for their own families. To our health programs, we’re trying to make sure that babies are born healthy, that mothers are healthy, that people can fight against HIV/AIDS and malaria and tuberculosis and other diseases.

And we also believe strongly in the human potential of Malawi, because after all, those are the greatest treasures that any country has. Some countries may have oil or gold or diamonds, but the greatest treasure are the people of every country, which is why investing in the future of the children of a country is the best investment that we can make. So we’re establishing an internship program at the Peace Corps office for a few graduates of Camp GLOW. We’re supporting nurse training for over 2,400 Malawians between 2010 and 2015. We will soon be recruiting American doctors and nurses to help train more health workers here in Malawi. And there’s many more of these kinds of activities because the United States really believes that the future of Malawi is bright. (Applause.)

But we know that most of the work has to be done here in this country. You can have friends like us and others who are around the world who are helping you or providing assistance or running programs like this, but ultimately, as it is in every country, it is up to the people. What kind of government do you want? Do you want an accountable, honest government where leaders are responsible to the voters? What kind of economy do you want? Do you want an economy that empowers individuals to start their own businesses, to dream big dreams? Do you want an education system – and the Minister of Education is here – that will give you the tools you need to make not just a living but a life here in Malawi?

I’m here as the first Secretary of State from my country ever to visit your country – (applause) – because President Obama and I believe that when Malawi stood up for democracy, when you stood up for your constitution, you showed the world something very important. (Applause.) You showed the world what kind of people you were. And that sent a message everywhere. Your Minister of Foreign Affairs travels all over the world on behalf of your country, and I’m sure he has heard what I have heard about the great admiration people have for what Malawi did.

So I am here to send a very simple message: The United States wants to be your partner and your friend. But we believe in you. We believe that you will make a difference. And we want to be there supporting you as you do.

And on a personal note, I know how important it is that everyone in a country contribute. That’s why women and girls have to be involved just as much as men and boys, have to go as far as you can in education, have to be committed to building a good life for yourselves and your family, have to be citizens voting and caring about what kind of government you have. That’s what I see for the future of Malawi. And I see it here at Camp GLOW, where it’s not just singing songs, although I’d love to hear you sing again. (Laughter.) It is about the lessons you learn, the people you meet, the leaders and the mentors who are here to answer questions and offer guidance, because they’re preparing you for a new Malawi and for the opportunities that will bring to each and every one of you and to your country.

I’m very excited about what you will accomplish in the future. I’m very excited to have had a chance to hear Anna speak for all of you. And I want you to know that we are here because we think you can make a difference, and we’re going to count on it.

So thank you for the very warm welcome that you have given to me and to my delegation. And I’m going to ask the Peace Corps to give me many reports about how you are doing – (laughter) – so that when I come next to Malawi, which I hope to do in the not too distant future, I will see more young women alongside young men as the new leaders of your country.

Thank you all very much. (Applause.)

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Remarks at Feed the Future Lumbadzi Milk Bulking Event


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Lilongwe, Malawi
August 5, 2012

Hello, way back there. Oh, I am so happy to be here. And I want to thank you for letting me come to see what you are doing. The United States is very proud to be a partner with all of you. I want to thank the ministers who are here, the leaders of the Lumbadzi milk bulking group, the citizens, all protocols observed.

For the past decade, the United States has been supporting Malawi’s dairy sector, including this center. And thanks to your work and the support we have given you, Malawi’s milk production has increased 500 percent. Thousands of farmers have benefited. (Applause.) I was delighted to meet some of the farmers and the workers here. And I want to thank all of you. I’m also proud that we see a partnership with PEPFAR, so people can also receive HIV testing and counseling services here.

Now, Malawi and the United States are building on this success. Today I am pleased to announce that over the next three years, the United States intends to invest in Malawi more than $46 million to strengthen the entire agricultural chain. (Applause.) We are also proud to make a gift to this center of this purebread dairy bull – his name is Emanuel (applause) – and a liquid nitrogen network to help farmers throughout the region improve their dairy cattle breeding. As Secretary of State of the United States, I’m very pleased that I could be here to see all of you and to see Margaret’s cow, the technical testing, and the beautiful milk that I just observed.

We want to help agriculture in Malawi get even stronger, so that all the children will have better lives. And I particularly thank the women farmers who are here before me for their hard work, and their families, their husbands, and their children for being part of this successful program. I look forward to hearing more about the success of our support for agriculture here in Malawi.

Thank you, Ambassador. Thank you, USAID. Thank you, Feed the Future. Thanks to everyone in the United States Government who is working with you. But mostly, thank you for doing such a good job. (Applause.)

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We gave them a dairy bull named Emanuel! I LOVE it!

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Yesterday, we  saw how a visit from Hillary Clinton served as the catalyst to an agreement between Sudan and South Sudan in a dispute as long as South Sudan’s independence.  On the ground in Juba only a few hours the previous day, HRC hailed the long-awaited settlement while a senior State Department official made it very clear that she alone deserves the credit.

The Secretary went to Juba in order to use her diplomatic influence and credibility to strongly encourage President Salva Kiir and the leadership of the South Sudan Government to embrace an acceptable and reasonable agreement that would bring to an end one of the most difficult and thorny issues left unresolved prior to that government’s independence from Sudan. She achieved that.

And it should be seen as her achievement; it should be seen as a major diplomatic success.

Also yesterday, in Nairobi,  Mme. Secretary attended this meeting.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, meets with meets with Somali Roadmap Signatories at the Intercontinental Hotel, in Nairobi, Kenya, on Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012. At far right is Somalia President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, next to Somalia s Speaker of Parliament Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, Pool)

For years I have marveled at the strength of  the bonds Hillary has generated among her supporters.  We have stuck together over the years in a way I have never seen around a former candidate who has not said that she will run for office again.  If she is a catalyst for progress,  she is also a strong element of cohesion as became evident in Nairobi this morning in the wake of Mme.  Secretary’s departure.  The Signatories negotiations, scheduled to continue through today were disrupted when TFG President Sharif abruptly walked out of the meeting and left for the airport.  No Hillary, no cohesion.

Somalia: President Sharif Walks Out of Signatories’ Meeting in Nairobi

5 August 2012

Nairobi — Transitional Federal Government (TFG) President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed reportedly stormed out of a meeting signatories were having in Nairobi on Sunday, Garowe Online reports.

Somali signatories of prior agreements such as the Roadmap, met with US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton in Nairobi on Saturday, to discuss the political process and the end of the transitional government.

After the meeting on Saturday, signatories remained in Nairobi to discuss possible amendments to the political process in the remaining two weeks.

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The minute she turns her back!  Don’t make me come back there!

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