Posts Tagged ‘Africa’

It is past midnight in Accra  (EDT +4)  where Hillary Clinton arrived this evening and met with  President Mahama.   On Twitter, I found a tweet from a Ghanaian source stating that she had landed.  I followed the link to the source’s website and found these touching posts covering three days of official mourning.  Mme. Secretary is in Ghana to attend the funeral of President John Atta Mills who passed on July 24.   Clearly he was well-loved.  He was running for reelection and by all indications was expected to win.

These posts and pictures are reminiscent of what our country went through when JFK was assassinated.  I remember the long, endless lines of people patiently waiting to enter the Capitol Rotunda to say good-bye.  I remember the words that were strange to me: portico, catafelque.  I remember crying a lot.  My heart goes out to the people of Ghana at this difficult time.

Here is the link to Ghana Decides which is covering the events beautifully.  They will be posting coverage all day tomorrow,  and if you scroll down through the posts you will find a schedule of events.

The Winding Queues

On the second day of the three-day funeral, what was prominent everywhere around the vicinity of the funeral grounds was queues – very long queues.

What was revealing about all the queues? Ghanaians were patient enough to stay within it and even form another from the Accra Sports Stadium. Those too tired, in typical Ghanaian fashion, sort refuge with the tiny shade around.

Our team went into town to take photographs of the winding queues that stretched from the Military Cemetery to the State House, and a supplementary queue from the Accra Lawn Tennis Club to the State House.

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Prior to departing Nigeria, Mme. Secretary stopped off at Embassy Abuja to greet the Marines who guard it and the staff who worked so hard to make this quick trip run smoothly and successfully.

Remarks at Meeting With Embassy Staff and Families


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
U.S. Embassy
Abuja,, Nigeria
August 9, 2012

AMBASSADOR MCCULLEY: (In progress.) And thank you for taking time out of your very busy schedule to meet with our great mission team. In Nigeria, they say that rain brings a blessing. And based upon the rain we had two hours before you arrived and the rain we’ve had, your visit is quadruple-blessed. Friends and colleagues, join me in welcoming our Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton. (Applause.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, thank you all very much. And let’s just feel blessed. (Laughter.) It’s a great pleasure to be back in Nigeria to see so many of you here today, even some familiar faces from my last trip.

But I do want to start on a somber note and take a moment to remember the friends and colleagues that were lost in the airplane crash two months ago. And I want to express my personal condolences to the families of Anthony Okara and the five Nigerians who worked for our local partner organizations. I know many of you worked closely with him. They were your friends. They were vital partners to all that we are doing together to really advance this important relationship. And we are very, very grateful.

It’s been three years since I was last here, and in that time Nigeria has made a lot of progress. We’ve seen elections that were free and fair, a government working to institute transparency and reform, admirable leadership in regional and global affairs. And at the same time, we know Nigeria is facing serious threats from extremism. But through every one of these issues and many, many more, you have provided invaluable assistance to the Nigerian people.

And I especially want to thank the Ambassador. Ambassador McCulley, you have led this mission through all the difficulties of the last year. You endured terrorist threats against the Embassy, the bombing of the UN headquarters, a strike that brought Abuja to a standstill, and still you and this team kept going. You all never wavered or put off your responsibilities. I understand that some of you were leaving home at 3:00 or 4:00 a.m. to get to work before protestors barricaded the roads back in January. And that kind of dedication is extremely admired.

I also know that the security measures we have put in place, the curfew and travel restrictions to keep you safe, can be a real burden. But please know that nothing is more important to us than your safety, and making sure you have secure places to live and work is our top priority. So we are counting on the efforts moving forward toward completing construction on the new Embassy annex and a new residential compound. If you have a budget and you want to handle the construction of your house together with its design, coordinate with the apt design for their custom home builder melbourne western suburbs service. In the meantime, I want to make your lives a little easier, so I’m happy to say that we have officially approved a third R&R leave for post staff. (Applause.)

Now, I think that these gestures really speak volumes about the quality and quantity of work that is being done by the people at Mission Nigeria. Everyone at our Embassy, at our Consulate General in Lagos, our USAID and CDC staff, our Defense Department’s Walter Reed Program, and so much else, you work to deepen one of the most important strategic partnerships in Sub-Saharan Africa, and we know that what you do is really making a difference.

I also want especially to thank our locally employed staff. Will all of the Nigerians who work here for the U.S. Embassy raise your hands, please, so we can give you a round of applause? (Applause.) We are so glad to have you as our colleagues on this team. We know that it’s not always easy, for all the reasons I mentioned, plus I’m sure others as well, but you are so valuable. And very honestly, ambassadors come and go, Secretaries come and go, everyone comes and goes, except our locally employed staff. And you remain kind of the memory bank, the continuity of everything that we do here and will do into the future.

So thank you again. Nobody ever wants to admit that you’re going to celebrate my departure on this very short trip. (Laughter.) But I don’t mind if you do. I will soon be the responsibility of Ghana and – (laughter) – but seriously, it was a short trip because of scheduling challenges, but it was a very important stop. And it just goes to underscore how much we count on you in every way regarding this vital relationship. So please keep up the very good work.

Thank you all. (Applause.)

According to her schedule, she is now in Accra and has met with President Mahama.  Tomorrow she will attend the funeral of his predecesor John Atta Mills who died in office and while up for reelection on July 24.

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It was a short stop, just under three hours on the ground, but Nigeria got their farewell visit today from outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton who probably will not be making another trip to Africa in her current post.  Even after she had arrived on the continent, African countries lobbied to get a visit on this trip, and although Nigeria was not on her original itinerary, she did manage to find a way to make the stop.

She was greeted at the airport by Nigeria’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Viola Onwuliri.  Foreign Minister Olugbenga Ashiru (in tan) accompanied her to the Presidential Villa where she met Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, (the lady in the colorful dress), and President Goodluck Jonathan (in black).

Here are her remarks following her meeting with President Jonathan and his National Security Council.

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Remarks Following Expanded Meeting with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan And the National Security Council


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Presidential Villa
Abuja, Nigeria
August 9, 2012

Well, thank you very much, Mr. President, and those were extremely kind and generous words. But I appreciate that you know how committed the United States and the Obama Administration is to our partnership with your country. We consider it absolutely vital, and through our bi-national commission, which, as you mentioned, has helped us to expand and deepen our cooperation on a full range of issues, we are working on economic matters, the improvement and the productivity of agriculture, education and health, security, the diversification of your economy, and so much more.

We intend to remain very supportive on your reform efforts. Thank you for mentioning the work we did together on the elections. We’re also very supportive of the anticorruption reform efforts, more transparency, and the work that you and your team is also championing, because we really believe that the future for Nigeria is limitless. But the most important task that you face, as you have said, is making sure that there are better opportunities for all Nigerians – north, south, east, west – every young boy and girl to have a chance to fulfill his or her God-given potential. And we want to work with you and we will be by your side as you make the reforms and take the tough decisions that are necessary.

So thank you, Mr. President, for this meeting. (Applause.)

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So far this is all that we have coming out of Nigeria today. Voice Of America is a reliable source.   Here is what they reported of Mme. Secretary’s visit there today.

News / Africa

Clinton Presses Nigeria’s President on Security

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

VOA News

August 09, 2012

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has urged Nigeria’s president to adopt new strategies to halt escalating violence.

Clinton traveled to the Nigerian capital, Abuja, on Thursday, where she held talks with President Goodluck Jonathan and his security team.

VOA’s correspondent Anne Look, who is traveling with Clinton, said the security talks were to focus on northern Nigeria, where radical Islamist group Boko Haram is blamed for scores of attacks.

Clinton was expected to press for a strategy that addresses grievances that have led to the unrest.

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Public Schedule for August 9, 2012

Public Schedule

Washington, DC
August 9, 2012



Secretary Clinton is on foreign travel to Abuja, Nigeria and Accra, Ghana. 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.

4:00 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton meets with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan and the National Security Council, in Abuja, Nigeria.

5:00p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton meets with Nigerian Anti-corruption Leaders, in Abuja, Nigeria.

6:00p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton meets with the staff and families of Embassy Abuja, in Abuja, Nigeria.

8:20p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton meets with Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama, in Accra, Ghana.

Getty Images
Ghana’s new President John Dramani Mahama and his wife Lordina arrive to view the body of late President John Atta Mills at the parliament in Accra on August 8, 2012. Ghana began three days of funeral rites for Mills on August 8, with his body to lie in state ahead of his August 10 burial to be attended by foreign dignitaries, including Hillary Clinton. The death of Mills on July 24, five months ahead of polls in which he was to seek re-election, threw the West African nation into mourning and upended the presidential campaign in a country that recently joined the ranks of the world’s significant oil producers. Mahama, who had been vice president, was sworn in to serve out the remainder of Mills’ term hours after his death, as dictated by the west African nation’s constitution.


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Meeting With Embassy Staff and Their Families


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State

Table Bay Hotel

Cape Town, South Africa

August 8, 2012

Well, it’s always a pleasure being in Cape Town, and I remember exploring Cape Town for the first time with Erica, and it’s just wonderful seeing someone who has loved this city for so long coming back and leading our consulate. And it’s also especially touching that her husband is leading our consulate in Durban. And he was with me in Pretoria yesterday, and between the two of them, they are a dynamic duo for American diplomacy.

I also very much – yes – (applause) – you can give them both a round of applause. Thank you. I’m also very, very pleased to be joined by the Ambassador – Ambassador Gips and Liz Gips, who – Liz Berry Gips, right? – who is just a terrific partner to the Ambassador in everything he’s doing on behalf of our relationship with the country. Don and Liz and their three sons have just made a tremendous difference in connecting up people to people and in civil society and NGOs, as well as the day-to-day work between our governments.

And I’m here to say thank you. Thank you for everything you all do every single day on behalf of this really vital relationship. I just finished speaking at the Western Cape University about the importance of the relationship between the United States and South Africa, not only with respect to what we do between our two countries, but what we must do throughout the world. And you are doing an excellent job of carrying our values, promoting our interests, and deepening our relationship.

Now, I was told that I came at a heartbreaking time – the Stormers just lost to the Sharks. I have no idea what that means – (laughter) – but I’m glad everyone is moving on. We’ll have grief counselors available – (laughter) – for those of you in the deepest mourning. But your partnership is truly making a difference, especially in our work on HIV/AIDS. As you know, I was just at South Delft Clinic having a chance to witness the signing between the Minister of Health and our Ambassador of our new framework for implementing the partnership agreement that I signed with Minister Mashabane two years ago.

Last year in South Africa, more than 1.1 million people received anti-retroviral treatment with PEPFAR’s support. Seven hundred and twenty thousand pregnant women with HIV got services to prevent passing on the virus to their babies. More than a half a million orphans received care and support. And truly, I want to applaud all of you, every one of you who’s helped to make a difference in the lives of so many people here.

Now the agreement that was signed today starts the transition of PEPFAR’s work to South African control. And this year, this agreement comes after years of collaboration between our governments working to meet this incredible challenge. But whether you’re working on HIV/AIDS or building and sustaining relationships with the South African parliament or hosting groups of visiting American lawmakers, you are really contributing very directly to this important relationship at this time.

I especially want to acknowledge our Foreign Service family members who are here without your loved ones. Now, I know some of the kids had to go to the third day of the new school year. I thank those of you who let your children miss school. But I know you’re missing a lot of other people who aren’t here, and I want to thank you for them and you.

And to our locally employed staff – will all of our South African staff raise your hand – all the South African staff? Well, I want to thank each and every one of you for the contributions you are making to this consulate. (Applause.) Consul generals come and go, ambassadors come and go, Secretaries come and go, but our locally employed staff really provides the continuity. You provide the memory bank of everything that went before, and we could not do this work without you as our colleagues working side by side every single day.

Now, as some of you may know, this post is home our longest serving locally employed staff member in all of sub-Saharan Africa: James Brody. (Applause.) Mr. Brody has kept things running for more than 40 years. And we thank you for your service, your dedication, and your example. Thank you very much, sir. (Applause.)

So again, let me say thank you and how grateful I am, and on behalf of myself and President Obama, I want to thank you for your commitment to representing the United States so well. I’ve got to admit, though, it’s not exactly a hardship post. (Laughter.) I’m sitting here with the sun raining down on my back, looking at the port – you know – (laughter) – it was snowing in Pretoria yesterday. But on a very personal level, I’m very proud to be your colleague and to have the chance to represent the United States at this very important time in the history of this extraordinary country. Thank you all very much. (Applause.)

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The United States – South Africa Partnership: Going Global


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State

University of Western Cape

Cape Town, South Africa

August 8, 2012

Thank you all. Please be seated. I want to thank the Archbishop for those introductory remarks and to say Amen, because what he has set the stage for is a time of reflection that I am honored to share with you about the kind of future that we seek for the students of this great university and for all the young people of South Africa and the world. So thank you, Archbishop, and thanks to all the other distinguished guests, including

Ambassador of the United States to South Africa, Ambassador Gips and the Ambassador of South Africa to Washington, Ambassador Rasool, a native of the Western Cape and someone closely associated with this university. In fact, when it was suggested that I deliver a speech in South Africa and we asked the South African Embassy in Washington, there was only one answer – (laughter) – the University of the Western Cape. (Applause.)

And of course, it is a most fitting institution despite the Ambassador’s prejudice – (laughter) – because this distinguished, diverse, and storied university has played such an important role in birthing a new South Africa. At a time when apartheid was deeply entrenched, the faculty and staff of Western Cape took a brave stand against division. Over the years, they were in the vanguard of the struggle for justice, even giving thought to a new constitution. It’s only appropriate that this university and this area of South Africa, which has known both the despair of apartheid and the birth of new freedom, was once called the Cape of Storms before it became the Cape of Good Hope.

I first came to South Africa in 1994 for the inauguration of Nelson Mandela, someone who is of course a great leader and a hero to many, including myself. I sat at the inauguration and watched as jets from the South African Defense Force streaked across the sky, their contrails tinted with all the colors of the new national flag. For decades, those jets had been a powerful symbol of the system of apartheid. But on that day, they dipped their wings in salute to their new commander in chief.

For those of us who witnessed the ceremony, it was a searing moment. Here was a man who had spent 27 years as a political prisoner not far from here, now being sworn in as president. And President Mandela’s journey represented something even larger – his country’s journey, the journey of your parents and grandparents and great grandparents, a long but steady march toward freedom for all its people. Being present at the birth of this new democracy was an experience that not only I, but the world, will never forget.

We are now 18 years removed from that iconic moment. If you’re a student here at UWC, you were probably just a toddler back then. A few of you might not even have been born yet. You didn’t just grow up in a democratic South Africa – you grew up with a democratic South Africa. Today, your country is different from the one I visited in 1994, and so too are the challenges you must confront and the opportunities that are there for the seizing.

In this pivotal time, the United States of America is committed to supporting you. As President Barack Obama said so memorably in Ghana in 2009, the nations of Africa need partnership, not patronage; not strongmen, but strong institutions. And the United States seeks to build sustained partnerships that help African nations, including this one, to fulfill your own aspirations.

I am here on a trip that has taken me from West Africa, to East Africa, to the Horn, and now to the south. In each place, I have seen America’s partners taking charge of solving tough problems. In South Sudan, the new government of a nation only a year old, made a courageous decision to restart oil production for the benefit of its people. In Uganda, I met with soldiers fighting terrorists in Somalia and working to end Joseph Kony’s reign of terror with the Lord’s Resistance Army. In Malawi, I met not only a new female president, Joyce Banda, but also a group of remarkable teenage girls building their skills and confidence, and a group of village women improving their incomes and their families’ futures through banding together in a dairy cooperative.

At every stop, I’ve described how the Obama Administration’s comprehensive strategy with Africa rests on four pillars, which the Archbishop just mentioned: first, promoting opportunity and development; second, spurring economic growth, trade and investment; third, advancing peace and security; and fourth, strengthening democratic institutions.

We are working with your country on all four of these. I have just finished the second Strategic Dialogue between our countries with Foreign Minister Mashabane. During the year, many officials of both of our governments, across many agencies, work together on important issues.

And then we meet annually to review progress in our cooperation. Let me give you just a few brief highlights that help paint a picture of the depth and breadth of our bilateral relationship.

Today at the Delft South Clinic, the United States signed a document with South Africa that marks a major transition in South Africa’s continuing fight against HIV/AIDS. South Africa will become the first country in Africa to plan, manage, and pay for more of your own efforts to combat the epidemic, while the United States will continue to provide funding and technical support through our PEPFAR program.

We also brought a delegation of leaders from American companies like FedEx and Chevron and Boeing and General Electric that are looking to expand their work in South Africa. They met with their counterparts from the South African business community, nearly 200 representatives looking to strengthen our ties commercially.

We launched a new $7.5 million public-private partnership to improve teacher quality that brings together our governments, foundations, and businesses. We announced the start of an opportunity grants program that will help disadvantaged South African students study in the United States. We established a Global Disease Detection Center that will be jointly led by health experts from our two countries. We established a new program to help judges and court systems more effectively combat gender-based violence, and to help South Africa support other countries in the region trying to do the same. And later today, we will complete an agreement with the City of Cape Town to provide high-speed internet access in Khayelitsha Province – or Township.

Now that’s quite a list and there is more to be said, but in short, it represents the work we are doing together, work that goes to the heart of our relationship that is aimed on improving the lives of people, working to eradicate disease, ameliorate and end poverty, working with you to help you solve the challenges you face.

But there is a different aspect of our relationship that doesn’t get nearly enough attention, and that’s how we can work with South Africa and all the nations of Africa to solve those challenges and problems not just within your borders, but across the continent and indeed throughout the world.

Our shared mission is essential to our common security and prosperity and to the fundamental character of the world of the 21st century. This is about your world, the one you will inherit.

Consider some of the problems we face today – an anemic global economy, transnational crime and terrorism, climate change, disease, famine, nuclear proliferation. None of these problems can be solved by any one country acting alone or even by several countries acting together. Each one calls for a global network of partners – governments, businesses, international and regional organizations, academic institutions, civil society groups, even individuals all working in concert. And there cannot be a strong global network unless there are strong African partners.

Now I’ve often heard it said that African problems need African solutions. Well, I’m here to say that some of our global problems need African solutions too. (Applause.) And few nations on this continent can carry as much weight or be as effective partners and leaders as South Africa. (Applause.) You are a democratic power with the opportunity to influence Africa and the world. You have led on nonproliferation at the International Atomic Energy Agency and on climate change at the Durban conference. You’ve led on economic cooperation at the G-20. You’ve led on women’s participation in politics. And a South African woman will soon become chair of the African Union Commission, a first in the history of that organization. (Applause.)

Now all of this is good news for the people of South Africa, this continent, and the world. But respectfully, I say that we and you can, should, and must do more. Two days ago, I had the honor of visiting President Mandela and his wife Graca Machel at their home in Qunu. The man who did so much to shape the history of a free South Africa has never stopped thinking about the future of South Africa. You, the young generation, are called not just to preserve the legacy of liberty that has been left to you by Madiba and by other courageous men and women. You are called to build on that legacy, to ensure that your country fulfills its own promise and takes its place as a leader among nations and as a force for peace, opportunity, equality, and democracy, and to stand up always for human rights at home and around the world.

This is a journey that my own country knows well. Although America and South Africa are certainly different nations with different histories, we have a deep and abiding connection. Like you, Americans know what it takes to begin healing the wounds of oppression and discrimination. We have had leaders, and the Archbishop quoted one – our first president, George Washington – but also Soujourner Truth and Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., and so many others who both inspired us and challenged us to live up to our values, to keep faith with the ideals set forth and enunciated at our beginning. We know this work is hard, and it is not only ongoing, it is never-ending. But like you, we are compelled by the arc of our nation’s history to stand up around the world for the values we ascribe to and advance at home.

Now discussions about the rise of emerging powers like South Africa usually start and too often stop with people simply saying, “With great power comes great responsibility.” It is worth considering what this really means. Some critics are quick to say, when America says emerging powers have great responsibility, they mean great responsibility to do whatever America wants. Well, I do believe that because of your history, South Africa has an obligation to be a constructive force in the international community just as the United States does. But that obligation has nothing to do with what America or anyone else wants you to do. It has everything to do with who you are. Here in South Africa, you achieved something that few countries have ever done. You proved that it doesn’t take an all-out civil war to bridge the divide between people who grew up learning to hate one another. You showed that the rights of minorities can be protected even in places where the majority spent decades and decades living in oppression. You reminded the world that the way forward is not revenge, but truth and reconciliation.

Of course, you know better than I how much work needs to be done. South Africa faces daunting economic, social, and political challenges, but you have laid the foundation for a society that is more prosperous, more inclusive, more peaceful, more democratic. And the world needs you to contribute much because you already have accomplished much. For nations like ours, the United States and South Africa, doing these things that reflect our values, our histories for our own people can never be enough. We have to look beyond our borders.

So let me highlight some of the ways the United States and South Africa can work together to promote opportunity and development, spur economic growth, trade, and investment, advance peace and security, and strengthen democratic institutions. First, opportunity and development. Even as South Africa responds to your challenges at home, you are supporting your neighbor’s efforts to fight poverty to improve health, to create conditions for more sustainable inclusive growth. You’re working with the Government of Malawi to help farmers learn to use their land more efficiently and raise their incomes. You’re supporting South Sudan in efforts to train judges and strengthen their judicial system and so much more.

The United States and South Africa can share our experiences, pool our knowledge, leverage our resources so both of us get more and better results. For example, we are partnering with the University of Pretoria to train leaders from the public and private sector in other African countries in developing agricultural strategies. This is the kind of partnership we want to see more of, not just with South Africa but with other African countries that are becoming donors as well as recipients of assistance. Tanzania and Ghana, for example, are improving food security throughout East and West Africa. Nigeria has released food supplies to help its neighbors in the Sahel. We are only limited by our imagination. But of course, our goal must be opportunity for all, development for those most in need of lifting themselves and their families and communities out of poverty. If that remains our goal, there are limitless ways we can collaborate together.

The second pillar of our strategy – economic growth, trade, and investment – is another where the world looks to South Africa to play a constructive role in promoting a global economic architecture that benefits everyone. Now of course, that is easy to talk about and the devil is always in the details, whether we’re discussing unfair tariffs or the speed of trade liberalization or local content and ownership share requirements. But our shared interests are greater than any differences. We both want domestic and international rules that protect our workers while attracting investment from abroad. We both want clean and sustainable growth that does not pollute our water or our air. We both want transparency and a level playing field free of corruption. We both want to create jobs at home while promoting a global economic recovery that, as President Kennedy said, lifts all boats.

That’s why the Obama Administration remains committed to renewing the African Growth and Opportunity Act with South Africa included before the act expires in 2015. (Applause.) We’re pleased that Congress acted last week to extend the Third-Country Fabric Provision through 2015, which will have enormous benefits for entrepreneurs, especially women, in many of South Africa’s neighbors, and also create jobs in the United States. President Obama will sign this bill as soon as it reaches his desk.

But measures like the African Growth and Opportunity Act will not their reach their full potential, and Africa will not reach its full promise unless African countries break down the barriers with their neighbors. As we have seen from North and South America to East Asia, everyone benefits when neighbors open their markets to each other and take steps to spur regional trade and investment.

But unfortunately, there still is less trade among the countries of sub-Saharan Africa than in any other region of the world. South African leaders have said encouraging words about regional integration; now the region looks to them to help lead the effort to tear down the barriers that often make it easier to export goods halfway around the world than to your neighbors on the continent. President Zuma is picking up the mantle by championing an ambitious north-south infrastructure corridor, enlisting governments, the private sector, and regional organizations to realize that vision that has so often remained elusive – the highway from Cape Town to Cairo. Well, with South Africa in the lead, perhaps I will be able to come back in a few years and actually drive it. (Laughter.)

The third area of our shared agenda is peace and security. Now, South Africa and the United States have not always seen eye-to-eye in this area, particularly at the height of the crises in Libya and Cote d’Ivoire. But the differences we have between us in these moments are over tactics, not principles. And that should not obscure our many shared goals, from supporting the political transition in Somalia to combating piracy, from addressing the threat of terrorism and violent extremism across the Sahel to reinforcing the peace between Sudan and South Sudan.

In one especially crucial area, South Africa has set the standard for the world, stopping nuclear proliferation. As the first country to voluntarily give up nuclear weapons, South Africa speaks with rare authority. You can most convincingly make the case that giving up nuclear weapons is a sign of strength, not weakness. And you can help ensure – (applause) – and you can help ensure that any country that pursues nuclear weapons programs will invite only more pressure and isolation. This means South Africa can play an even greater role on issues like curbing Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons or preventing nuclear materials from falling into the hands of terrorists.

And South Africa also is supported by and supports Africa’s regional institutions in advancing peace and security. We have worked closely with the African Union, which has emerged as an increasingly active force in addressing security challenges from Somalia to Mali to Sudan and South Sudan. And I thank the AU for all their efforts, led by former President Thabo Mbeki, to help broker the oil agreement reached by the two sides last week. Regional organizations like SADC or ECOWAS are engaged as we speak in peace and reconciliation efforts in Madagascar and Guinea-Bissau. More informal arrangements, like the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, are bringing leaders together to tackle the conflict in the Eastern Congo. South Africa plays an important leadership and supportive role in all of this.

Now, the fourth area is protecting human rights and democracy. Americans and South Africans alike pledge ourselves to the proposition that all people everywhere should live with dignity, pursue their dreams, voice their opinions freely, worship as they choose. We want to see all of that come to fruition.

Now, living up to these principles is not easy. No country’s record is spotless, including my own. Right now, many democracies in the global south, including South Africa, are engaged in a vigorous debate. On the one hand, they want to promote democratic values and respect for human rights in other nations. But on the other hand, they are wary of intervention that bears on the internal affairs of those other nations.

Ultimately, we are all called to answer the question about how we live up to these principles that we share, and there are no easy solutions, and one country may not answer that question the same way as another. But we all have to recognize that anywhere in any place where human rights are abused and democracy – true democracy – denied, the international community must apply pressure to help bring about positive change. No one understands that better than the people of South Africa.

So we welcome South Africa’s support last week for the resolution at the UN General Assembly condemning Syria and the Assad regime’s brutal reign of terror. I hope this vote can be the foundation for a new level of cooperation on one of the more urgent questions of our time.

More broadly, at the UN Human Rights Council and other venues, we look to you to help lead the effort to protect universal human rights for everyone. When old friends in power become corrupt and repressive, a decision by South Africa to stand on the side of freedom is not a sign that you’re giving up on old allies. It’s a reminder to yourselves and the world that your values don’t stop at your borders. And I particularly appreciate the leadership role that South Africa and other southern African democracies like Zambia and Botswana can play in supporting the newest democracies. Egypt, Tunisia, South Sudan, Libya, Kyrgyzstan, and others are looking for advice and models. And you can point to a university like this one, which insisted on the freedom to teach whomever and however they saw fit. You can point to the independent trade unions that stood up for workers’ rights and the civil society groups that provided legal counsel and other essential support. You can point to the courageous journalists who insisted on telling the truth even when it invited the government’s wrath.

And here in Africa, the international community has made it clear that the people of Zimbabwe deserve the right to have their voices and votes heard and counted in a free and fair election. Thanks to the efforts of President Zuma and SADC, along with Zimbabwe’s civil society, a draft of a new constitution is nearly complete. Now these same leaders can help accelerate progress toward finalizing and adopting that new constitution through a credible referendum and holding a free and fair election monitored by the international community. (Applause.) And if Zimbabwe’s leaders meet these commitments, the United States is prepared to match action for action. (Applause.)

So in each of these four areas – development, economic growth, peace and security, democracy and human rights – South Africa already embodies so many of the values that the world is looking for. And we look forward to deepening our cooperation. But let us remember no country’s influence is a birthright – not America’s and not South Africa’s. (Applause.) We have our own work cut out for us to keep moving toward and trying to achieve the unachievable more perfect union, to live up to our values, to use our influence and power to help others achieve their own dreams. And if South Africa is to achieve the full measure of your own ambition, you too must face and solve your own challenges in health and education, economic inequality, unemployment, race relations, gender-based violence, the issues that you live with and must address.

These are areas that we too face, and we stand ready to work with you, but only the people of South Africa can make the decisions about how you will solve these problems and overcome these challenges.

Only South Africans can fight corruption. Only South Africans can prevent the use of state security institutions for political gain. Only South Africans can defend your democratic institutions, preventing the erosion of a free press and demanding strong opposition parties and an independent judiciary. Only South Africans can truly preserve and extend the legacy of the Mandela generation.

And these are tasks not just for governments. These are tasks for every citizen – political leaders, teachers, civil servants, entrepreneurs, community activists. And there is a special responsibility for the young people of South Africa, including all the students here today.

Someday soon, you will be making decisions about your future – choosing your career, thinking about whether to start a family. These are deeply personal choices that will shape the life you lead.

But you will also be called on to define the very nature of your citizenship and your country’s approach to your fellow citizens and the world. You will decide whether South Africa moves forward and not backward. You will decide whether South Africa seeks to erase old dividing lines in global politics. You will decide whether South Africa seeks to set aside old suspicions and instincts and embrace new partnerships tailored to 21st century challenges. Our own partnership – not only between our governments, but between our people – can grow deeper and stronger if both of us remember our respective histories and the obligations they impose if we keep focused on the future and move toward it together.

Nearly 50 years ago, Robert F. Kennedy – a United States senator, attorney general, and champion of civil rights – came to Cape Town and gave a heartfelt speech about South Africa’s place in the world. He painted a vivid picture of the future he envisioned, one where every nation respects universal human rights, promotes social justice, accelerates economic progress, liberates all people to pursue their talents.

South Africa, he said, can play an “outstanding role” in creating that world. And he called in particular on the young people of that time, saying, “This world demands the qualities of youth; not a time of life but a state of mind, a quality of the imagination, a predominance of courage over timidity.”

One of my personal heroines, and a former predecessor as First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt once said that human rights really starts in the small places close to home. It’s easy to talk about the big, sweeping issues, to pledge ourselves to the abstractions of human rights. It’s harder – much harder – to reach deep inside of our hearts and minds to truly see the other, whether that other is of a different race, ethnicity, religion, tribe, national origin, and recognize the common humanity.

I have been in and around politics for a long time. It’s easy to lose sight of the common humanity of those who oppose you. You get to feeling that your way is the right way, that your agenda is the only one that will save the people. And all of the sudden, you begin to dehumanize the opposition and the other.

The greatest lesson I learned about this came from Nelson Mandela. When I came to that inauguration in 1994, it was a time of great political conflict in my own country. My husband was President. People were saying terrible things about us both – personally, politically, every way you could think of. (Laughter.) And I was beginning to get pretty hard inside. I was beginning to think, “Who do they think they are? What can I do to get even?” (Laughter.)

After that inauguration that I described in the beginning, I, along with other dignitaries from all over the world were invited to a great lunch under a huge tent at the President’s house. I had had breakfast there in the morning with President de Klerk, and I came back to have lunch with President Mandela. (Laughter.) Oh, there were so many important people there. Our delegation was led by our Vice President. There were kings and prime ministers and presidents, and just a glittering assembly.

And President Mandela stood to greet us all and welcome us to that lunch. And he said, “I know you are all very important people, and I invite you all to our new country. I thank you for coming. But the three most important people to me, here in this vast assembly, are three men who were my jailers on Robben’s Island.” I sat up so straight. (Laughter.) I turned to the person next to me to say, “What did he say?” (Laughter.) He said that the most important people here were three of his jailers.

And he said, “I want them to stand up.” And three middle-aged white men stood up. He called them by name. He said, “In the midst of the terrible conditions in which I was held for so many years, each of those men saw me as a human being. They treated me with dignity and respect. They talked to me; they listened. And when I walked out of prison, I knew I had a choice to make. I could carry the bitterness and the hatred of what had been done to me in my heart forever, and I would still be in prison. Or I could begin to reconcile the feelings inside myself with my fellow human beings.”

That is the true legacy of President Mandela, calling all of us to complete the work he started, to overcome the obstacles, the injustices, the mistreatments that everyone – every one of us – will encounter at some point in our lives. That is truly what South Africa is called to do, to continue the struggle, but the struggle for human dignity, the struggle for respect, the struggle to lift people up and give children a chance – every boy and girl – to fulfill his or her God-given potential in this beautiful land that has been so blessed.

It’s a burden being an American or a South African, because people expect you to really live up to those standards. People hold us to a higher set of standards, don’t they? And we owe it to all who came before, all who sacrificed and suffered, to do our very best to keep working every single day to meet those standards. But we mostly owe it to our future.

Many things have changed since Robert Kennedy came to Cape Town and Nelson Mandela left Robben’s Island. But some have not. The world we want to build together still demands the qualities of youth and a predominance of courage over timidity. So in that spirit, let us work together so that the values that shaped both our nations may also shape a world that is more peaceful, more prosperous, and more just.

Thank you all very much. (Applause.)

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Remarks at a Visit to Delft South Clinic and PEPFAR Transition Signing


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State

Delft South Clinic

Cape Town, South Africa

August 8, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, it is such a great pleasure and honor to be with all of you here today to mark a new chapter in our country’s shared fight against HIV/AIDS.

And I so well remember that meeting three years ago with the Minister and with my colleague, Dr. Eric Goosby, Ambassador Goosby. We were looking for ways to be helpful. We were quite pleased at the strong position taken by President Zuma and his government. And we knew that Minister Motsoaledi had been given a huge task.

I have to tell you just personally, but also on behalf of the American team who are here, who have worked on this, we are very grateful to you, Minister, because it is one thing to – (applause) – be given a very important and difficult task, as you were, and it’s something even more important to have implemented so successfully. And to all the members of the South Africa team, at the national level, at the provincial and local level, we are very, very impressed and very grateful for what we have seen happen these last three years.

So I, of course, want to thank the Minister. Also Mayor, thank you. Mayor de Lille, thank you for being here. MEC Botha, thank you. Dr. Grimwood, Sister de Villiers, thank you all for welcoming us here today.

I am joined by a delegation of Americans who are committed to our relationship with South Africa, and in particular to our shared fight against HIV/AIDS. The U.S. Ambassador to South Africa, Don Gips, the U.S. Global AIDS coordinator, Ambassador Eric Goosby. Would you stand up Dr. Goosby, please? (Applause.) And of course, we very much appreciate working with Ambassador Rasool, who represents your country so well in Washington. Ambassador John Davies, director for North America, Assistant Secretary Johnnie Carson, who works on African issues with me in the State Department, and so many others who are here.

Since 2003, our countries have worked side by side through the U.S. initiative known as PEPFAR. Our collaboration has been vast and effective. The United States has provided $3.2 billion U.S. dollars to support South Africa’s comprehensive response to the epidemic. (Applause.) And look at the results. Together, through our joint efforts, more than 1.2 million South Africans began treatment for HIV, and 2.4 million people with HIV have received care. Nearly 15 million people were tested during last year’s national testing campaign. And I, too, wish to applaud everyone who has worked so hard to bring down the rate of mother-to-child transmission. It’s now down to a remarkable 2.7 percent, and we want to work with you to bring it to zero – (applause) – so no baby is every born with the virus.

And the number of places where South Africans can receive antiretroviral drugs has grown from 490 to 3,000, and I just saw and heard about the very impressive work being done in this pharmacy to ensure that drugs are dispensed efficiently with some very new, creative ideas about how to do that in order to try to deal with the long lines that are traditional at pharmacy windows. I’ve been in many such clinics, not only in Africa, but even in my own country, and the crowd around the windows is often two, three, four, five people deep, and it may take hours. I’m going to be immediately texting my husband about what I have seen here. (Laughter and applause.) And as you know, he worked with Dr. Goosby and other physicians and experts way back when on many of these issues. But we have to constantly be asking ourselves what can we do and what we can we do more efficiently to get more results more quickly.

Now, when we look back at where South Africa was a decade ago, these numbers represent remarkable progress. AIDS did represent an unprecedented national emergency, and we needed to scale up treatment and care to millions of people as fast as we could. That’s what we’ve done together. But let’s be honest here, this disease is still very dangerous. It’s still demands our close attention. But at least now there is a system in place that can help keep it under control and hopefully prevent it, so we can achieve that AIDS-free generation that I and others spoke of at the AIDS conference in Washington.

So please let me say to all of you across South Africa, who have contributed to this fight at every level of government, and the civil society, and the private sector, thank you for what you have done. Because of you, South Africa and the entire region has the hope for a better, healthier, more secure future.

But even as we take this moment to say well done, we cannot make the mistake of thinking our job is done. Our countries share this goal of an AIDS-free generation. That means making sure every person who needs antiretroviral treatment gets it; every pregnant woman with HIV receives the support she needs so her child is born and stays HIV-free and the mother remains healthy; all South Africans have access to the information and resources they need to protect themselves from this infection. Now, these are the objectives of the work that we’ve already begun together. We need to stay focused and committed.

And I want to just add that I was recently in Uganda on this trip, and many of you who have worked in HIV/AIDS for a long time know Uganda was the success story. Uganda tackled this epidemic earlier, more forcefully than most countries in the world. In fact, the very first patient to receive antiretroviral drugs from PEPFAR was in Kampala, Uganda, and I met him when I was there. I shook his hand. I met his daughters, of whom he is very proud. So he came in nearly dead and has now lived for years with the disease.

However – I discussed this with the President of Uganda, with health workers, with the Health Minister – Uganda is now the only country in Sub-Saharan Africa where the infection is going up, because they are the first to tell you they stopped focusing on prevention. So the system for taking care of people already infected has to be focused and supported, but let’s not forget prevention, because we do not want to see reversals of all the progress that has been made here and elsewhere.

This is has been a true partnership. Both South Africa and the United States brought resources, expertise, and commitment. We could not have done it without our mutual investment. And what we are doing here today will ensure that our partnership continues. The Partnership Framework that Minister Mashabane and I signed in 2010 described the next phase of our country’s shared fight. The document that will be signed here now, the Implementation Plan for the Partnership Framework, is a roadmap for how we will carry out this next phase. It puts South Africa firmly in the lead while committing both countries to the core goals of expanding prevention, care, and treatment to more people, while making sure that existing services continue without interruption.

By taking the lead and continuing to increase its investments, the South African Government is ensuring that its national strategy will be sustainable, efficient, and even more responsive to the specific needs of different communities and populations. And the coalition that South Africa has created with government, civil society, faith-based organizations, academic medical centers, and others will be a powerful motor for progress.

Nonetheless, some people may hear South Africa is in the lead and think that means that the United States is bowing out. So let me say this clearly: The United States is not going anywhere. (Applause.) We will continue to be your close partners through PEPFAR. We will continue working with the government and civil society. We have formed many close and vital relationships in the past decade, and we remain committed to them.

During this transition period, we will continue to directly support the healthcare needs of the people of South Africa. We will focus on supporting the South African Government as it strengthens its technical capacities so it can do even more in the long run. So while this partnership is changing, we believe it is changing for the better. This is what our governments always hoped and intended, that South Africa would increasingly be in the lead. It is a signal of the strong progress we’ve made and the strong relationship we have built.

So today at this clinic, whose name translates, I am told, into meaning “choose life,” in Cape Town alone, you are providing treatment for more than 26,000 people. You have been supported by PEPFAR. We are going to continue to work with you even as the South African Government increases its support. We are in this for the long haul. This disease is no respecter of boundaries, no respecter of any kind of attribute. It does not respect race or religion, ethnicity, gender. It is an equal opportunity infection – (laughter) – and can be an equal opportunity killer.

So this is part of what we all should be working toward, where we, with our shared humanity, reach out to help one another, but also recognize the responsibility to help ourselves. And we are delighted that we are at this important juncture. We will embark upon the next chapter in our relationship with renewed determination, because our goal is no new AIDS patients. AIDS patients – zero is the number we are looking for. And by continuing to work together and embracing smart strategies, I believe that the United States and South Africa can reach that goal.

Thank you all so very much. (Applause.)

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Public Schedule for August 8, 2012

Public Schedule

Washington, DC
August 8, 2012



Secretary Clinton is on foreign travel to Cape Town, South Africa. Secretary Clinton is accompanied by Counselor Mills, Assistant Secretary Carson, Under Secretary Hormats, Spokesperson Nuland, Director Sullivan, Ambassador Goosby, 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.

10:15 a.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton visits Delft South Clinic and participates in a PEPFAR Transition Signing, in Cape Town, South Africa.

11:30 a.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton delivers remarks titled “Going Global: the U.S.-South Africa Partnership,” in Cape Town, South Africa.

12:40 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton meets with the staff and families of Consulate General Cape Town, in Cape Town, South Africa.

1:15 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton meets with Former South African President F.W. de Klerk, in Cape Town, South Africa.

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No public schedule for today has been posted as yet, but here are some photos from yesterday when Mme. Secretary met with the newly elected chairperson of the African Union Commission, South Africa’s Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, at the presidential guesthouse in Pretoria.  No remarks were issued, but the pictures say a lot!

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