Posts Tagged ‘Kenya’

Hillary Clinton describes the Obama Administration’s Africa policy in typical Hillary fashion as resting on four pillars.

  1. Promoting opportunity and development,
  2. Spurring economic growth, trade, and investment,
  3. Advancing peace and security,
  4. Strengthening democratic institutions.

China, as we know, is  heavily invested in Africa.  Her description of that relationship as one of exploitation of natural resources in exchange for glitzy structure and infrastructure that benefits them and excludes local labor.  Her concern is the damage being inflicted by some foreign investment.

She quotes her remark to a TV interview question in Zambia in June 2011.

… our view is that over the long run, investments in Africa should be sustainable and for the benefit of the African people.

Confronted with a suggestion that the Chinese model, basically a hands-off local government model might serve African nations better than the good-governance model that could be interpreted as imposed by the west, responded:


It is easy – and we saw that during colonial times – it is easy to come in, take out natural resources, pay off leaders, and leave. And when you leave, you don’t leave much behind for the people who are there. You don’t improve the standard of living. You don’t create a ladder of opportunity.

We don’t want to see a new colonialism in Africa. We want, when people come to Africa and make investments, we want them to do well, but we also want them to do good. We don’t want them to undermine good governance. We don’t want them to basically deal with just the top elites and, frankly, too often pay for their concessions or their opportunities to invest.

Hillary Clinton’s Media Outreach: Three Interviews from Lusaka, Zambia

She mentions this speech where she spoke of sustainable partnerships that add rather than subtract value.

Hillary Clinton on Building Sustainable Partnerships in Africa

 On the subject of the disturbing downward trend in electoral democracies on the continent she refers to a speech in 2011 at African Union Headquarters where she warned African leaders that the Arab Spring could spread.  We wondered, viewing the video, why she was speaking in the dark.  It turned out that there was a power outage that occurred while she spoke that might have been a coincidence.  It is a message that older, entrenched leaders do not want to hear.  Hillary remarks upon the reluctance of some of these leaders, often seen as liberators from colonialism, to cede power.  The phenomenon is endemic on the continent.

She delivered a similar message to Arab elders at Forum for the Future in Morocco in November 2009.  Neither was that audience particularly receptive to the message of inclusiveness.  The Arab Spring was a reaction to policies that she knew then, through her interactions with civil society in Arab countries, would boil over sooner or later boil over.  A look at the slideshow in this post speaks more than 1,000 words.

Video: Secretary Clinton’s Remarks at African Union Headquarters, Addis Ababa

Putting forth the example of a grassroots Senegalese movement effectively defeating Abdoulaye Wade in their 2012 election,  she posits that democratic change is possible in Africa and quotes further from her sustainable partnerships speech in Dakar.

I know there is sometimes an argument that democracy is a privilege belonging to wealthy countries, and that developing economies must put economic growth first and worry about democracy later. But that’s not the lesson of history. Over the long run, you can’t have effective economic liberalization without political liberalization … the United States will stand up for democracy and universal human rights, even when it might be easier or more profitable to look the other way, to keep the resources flowing. Not every partner makes that choice, but we do and we will.

Liberia, today so unfortunately stricken with the ebola epidemic,  stands as a shining example of democracy in Africa as Hillary points out that former enemies on the field of battle now sit side by side in the legislative chambers.

Clinton poses with a Liberian newspaper in Monrovia

Hillary Clinton’s Address to Joint Session of Liberian National Legislature

Some of you have seen a film that tells the story of a Liberian woman’s efforts to end the war. Tired of the killing and the conflict, she organized women at her church and then other churches and in mosques until thousands of Liberian women had joined a vocal, public movement demanding peace … These were women who woke up one day and said, “Enough, enough. We’re better than that …  I know that the suffering of the people of Liberia has been broad and deep. But now, you each have a chance, both personally and publicly through your service here, to make a stand against the past and for a future that is worthy of the sacrifice and the suffering that went on too long. The United States is proud to support you.


Her 2009 visit to Kenya comprised several important speaking engagements to which she refers:  The AGOA Forum (Clinton administration legislation), a “townterview” with Fareed Zakaria, a visit, with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, to an agricultural research institute, and the usual ministerials.

Hillary Clinton’s Address at the Africa Growth Opportunities Act (AGOA) Forum in Kenya

Hillary Clinton’s Townterview at the University of Nairobi with Fareed Zakaria

Students greeted her with signs reading “corruption-free zone.”  At this event Hillary shared the stage with Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathi who led a reforestation movement in Kenya.  The issue of natural resources being decimated arose.  You may recall that in her very lengthy confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Hillary was asked a question about natural resources in Africa (it might have come from John Kerry, but I am not certain).  Immediately she responded that “Botswana comes to mind.”  Here she shared the same example.

Botswana’s national trust fund has reinvested profits from its resources into the population and infrastructure with such success that both the Peace Corps and USAID pulled out of the country since their help was no longer needed.  Hillary credits Botswana’s Five Ds for the success: Democracy, Development, Dignity, Discipline, Delivery.


Hillary Clinton at the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute

Well-intentio9ned as they were,  she notes that U.S. (and other) gifts of foodstuffs undercut the market for indigenous agricultural products.  She points to the Feed the Future Program as one that supports local produce and addresses the challenge of transportation.

Hillary Clinton With Kenyan Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula


She also met with President Kibaki, Prime Minister Odinga, and the cabinet.  There was tough talk,  to which she refers,  in this meeting but no transcript from the State Department.  The agreed-upon shared power in the government was not going smoothly. Her subsequent words with Foreign Minister Wetangula provide some insight into the tone she adopted, however.

The United States worked hard last year with Kofi Annan and the team of African Eminent Persons to support the Kenyan people to resolve the crisis that afflicted this country. Unfortunately, resolving that crisis has not yet translated into the kind of political progress that the Kenyan people deserve. Instead, the absence of strong and effective democratic institutions has permitted ongoing corruption, impunity, politically motivated violence, human rights abuses, and a lack of respect for the rule of law.

These conditions helped fuel the post-election violence, and they are continuing to hold Kenya back. The reform agenda agreed to by the coalition government and discussed in the speech that President Kibaki and Prime Minister Odinga gave this morning must be fully implemented not just to avoid a repeat of the previous crisis or worse, but more importantly, to set the stage for a better future, a future worthy of the dynamic people of this country, a future of economic growth, democratic development, social justice, and the opportunity for every Kenyan child to live up to his or her God-given potential. I wanted the leaders to know that we respect greatly the way that the Kenyan people pulled their country back from the brink of disaster once, and the ongoing connection between the private sector, civil society, and the government that is the key to resolving these issues.


Hillary’s description of her visit to Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in summer 2009 is a contrasting patchwork of horror and hope.   She begins with her visit, with NBA star Dkembe Mutombo to the pediatric unit he built and named for his mother.

Hillary Clinton at the Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital and Research Center

There were so many bright and lovely moments on this first official State tour of Africa.  Most of those were, sadly, not covered by the media, but no one missed the “snap in the Congo.”  In an atmosphere that Hillary describes as sour with an air of sullen resignation in a stuffy auditorium at St. Joseph’s School. everyone saw her lose patience with a question, remove her earbuds, and tell a student at a town hall that she would not be channeling her husband.

Hillary Clinton’s Town Hall With Search for Common Ground and Congolese University Students

U.S. Secretary of State Clinton arrives at a town hall meeting with Congolese university students in the Democratic Republic of Congo's capital Kinshasa


In the book, she explains that the student came to her after the event, apologized, and explained that he had not meant to ask her President Clinton’s opinion but rather President Obama’s.

Goma is one of the the grimmest, most dangerous places on earth, especially for women.  Hillary tells of her visit there and the spirit she encountered among the residents of the refugee settlement she visited.

Hillary Clinton’s Day at the U.N. Internally Displaced Persons Camp, Goma, DRC

She says she witnessed the worst and the best of humanity there.  She was inspired to chair a U.N. Security Council meeting the next month on the subject of sexual violence in conflict regions.

Secretary Hillary Clinton Chairing Security Council Meeting Today

Secretary Clinton & Ambassador Rice: Remarks After Meeting on the Adoption of a UNSC Resolution to Combat Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict

Hillary turns at this point to her visit to Africa’s and the world’s newest country, South Sudan in August 2012 when a standoff between the breakout state and Sudan from which it had seceded was festering.  South Sudan had oil and Sudan had the ports and refineries.  Clearly some kind of cooperative agreement would benefit both, but South Sudan had shut down the pipeline to the North.

Hillary Clinton With Foreign Minister of South Sudan Nhial Deng Nhial

Hillary Clinton in South Sudan

The surface issue was fees charged by Sudan to transport and process the oil.  Hillary used an Op-Ed by one of President Kir’s former comrades-in-arms, Bishop Elias Taban, once a boy soldier.   Below the surface, the dispute rested on old battle wounds.  Hillary told him “a percentage of something is better than a percentage of nothing.”  Taban’s words moved Kir to accept a compromise.   By 2:45 the next morning, the oil flowed again.

Hillary Clinton Welcomes Oil Agreement Between Sudan and South Sudan, Calls for Peace and Humanitarian Access

Hillary writes that South Sudan’s future remains uncertain, and indeed, while this post was being assembled the State Department issued this statement.

Bishop Taban, who provided the instrument that convinced President Kir to budge was her guest at last year’s Clinton Global Initiative where she presented him with the Global Citizen Award.

CGI 2013: Closing Plenary Session

She reviews Somalia’s war-torn, terror-ridden history and our efforts to assist through several U.S. administrations.  In August 2009, the president of the transitional government traveled to Nairobi to meet with her.  She wondered if he would shake her hand, and he did so very enthusiastically which was a very big deal all around.

Hillary Clinton With Somali Transitional Federal Government President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed

They met again for a final time in their respective official positions in August 2012.  A new president was elected the next month.

Hillary Clinton With Somali Roadmap Signatories in Kenya


At a military base in Uganda, U.S. Special Operations advisors showed her a surveillance drone used in the search for Joseph Kony chief of the Lord’s Resistance Army and elements of Al Shabaab.  She notes that it resembled a child’s toy.

Hillary Clinton at Kasenyi Military Base in Uganda


She mentions the September 2013 attack by Al Shabaab on a shopping mall in Nairobi that killed Elif Yavuz who worked for the Clinton Health Access Initiative which battles HIV/AIDS and other health challenges.

Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Offer Condolences on the Death of Elif Yavuz

 In the struggle to conquer HIV/AIDS on the continent, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) begun by George W. Bush plays a major role.  She recalls this event in Johannesburg in 2009 where she was accompanied by Eric Goosby,  the State Department’s Global AIDS Coordinator, her Congressional Representative, Nita Lowey, and the late, Honorable Donald Payne who was a friend of this blog.

Hillary Clinton at PEPFAR Event in South Africa

Hillary declared a goal of an AIDS-free generation on World AIDS Day 2011.

Secretary Clinton on World AIDS Day 2011


Hillary Clinton at the Reach Out Mbuya Health Center, in Kampala, Uganda

Hillary begins drawing this Africa chapter to a close in South Africa around Nelson Mandela beginning with recollections of her visits to South Africa as First Lady, the second time bringing Chelsea with her.   A lifetime friendship ensued.



Hillary Clinton with Nelson Mandela

One working relationship that brought many smiles over the years was her friendship with South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.   She gave parties for Hillary on both of her visits.  There was a rare snowfall on Hillary’s last visit and she was called ‘Nimkita’ – one who brings the snow.

Hillary Clinton With South African Minister of International Relations Nkoana-Mashabane


Hillary Clinton with South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane

Hillary Clinton’s Meeting With U.S. and South African Business Leaders

Hillary Clinton at a Dinner Hosted by South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane

 Hillary led a delegation of business leaders to this summit.  Our friend Grace Bennett of Inside Chappaqua accompanied Hillary’s traveling press on this trip,  and Hillary called her over to meet Maite.

Hillary Clinton at the U.S.-South Africa Business Partnership Summit


There was one last visit to Nelson Mandela.

Hillary Clinton Visits Nelson Mandela

Hillary Rodham Clinton, Nelson Mandela

Hillary Rodham Clinton, Nelson Mandela,  Graca Machel


Hillary Clinton at The United States – South Africa Partnership

She refers to these closing remarks in this speech.

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.

Clintons Close CGI in Rio and Convene in South Africa to Honor Nelson Mandela

Hillary went on Air Force One with the Obamas and the Bushes.  Bill and Chelsea went from Rio.


Hillary ends this chapter with hopes for an Africa worthy of Nelson Mandela’s long walk to freedom.


Hillary Clinton’s ‘Hard Choices’ Retrospective: Introduction

Access other chapters of this retrospective here >>>>



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Statement by President Clinton, Secretary Clinton, and Chelsea Clinton on the death of Elif Yavuz

New York, NY

We were shocked and terribly saddened to learn of the death of Elif Yavuz in the senseless attacks in Nairobi. Elif devoted her life to helping others, particularly people in developing countries suffering from malaria and HIV/AIDS. She had originally worked with our Health Access Initiative during her doctoral studies, and we were so pleased that she had recently rejoined us as a senior vaccines researcher based in Tanzania. Elif was brilliant, dedicated, and deeply admired by her colleagues, who will miss her terribly.  On behalf of the entire Clinton Foundation, we send our heartfelt condolences and prayers to Elif’s family and her many friends throughout the world.

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Many will remember Chelsea Clinton’s adorable reports last August from the Kenyan preserve for orphaned elephants run by naturalist Daphne Sheldrick.  Some may even remember Sheldrick’s difficult and heartbreaking struggle decades ago to develop the correct formula for baby elephants that would allow them to survive and thrive.  It was gratifying to see  that not only has she found the formula but has managed, over the years,  to save many infant elephants rescued from the wild after their mothers were murdered by poachers.  Chelsea’s reports aired both on the Nightly News with Brian Williams and on the late, lamented Rock Center which many miss.

Elephant population dwindles as demand for ivory grows; how to foster a baby elephant

From the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust:

Established 35 years ago by Dame Daphne Sheldrick in memory of her late husband David Sheldrick, the founder warden of Kenya’s giant Tsavo National Park, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) is dedicated to the protection and conservation of wildlife and habitats in Kenya.  The charity is best known for its pioneering work with orphaned elephants. Daphne Sheldrick has been living alongside elephants for 50 years and she was the first person to successfully hand-rear a milk-dependent newborn elephant.

Today the charity has successfully returned 91 elephant orphans to the wild, with another 53 currently reliant on their care. There are 22 baby elephants ages 2 years and under at the DSWT Nursery in Nairobi and another 31 adolescents, graduates of the Nursery, at their two reintegration centres in Tsavo East National Park.

Increasingly the animals the DSWT is called to rescue are ivory orphans; their mothers murdered before their eyes for their tusks; while climate change, drought, a burgeoning human population and livestock place further pressure on land and elephant populations. Already in 2012, the DSWT has been called to 17 baby elephant rescues.

Read more and see many adorable videos and pictures here >>>>

On Monday,  WaPo reports, Chelsea’s formidable mom, as a private citizen, enlisted in the battle against elephant poaching.

Hillary Rodham Clinton’s new cause: combating elephant poaching

By Juliet Eilperin

Hillary Rodham Clinton will join with environmentalists to press for an end to elephant poaching (Credit: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

Hillary Rodham Clinton will join with environmentalists to press for an end to elephant poaching (Credit: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

Hillary Rodham Clinton has agreed to take up the public fight of saving African elephants, who are being slaughtered in large numbers to supply the growing demand for ivory in China and other Asian countries.

Clinton, who met privately with representatives from a dozen environmental groups and National Geographic at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Central Park Zoo on Monday, pledged to use her political connections as America’s former secretary of state to enlist other world leaders in the effort to curtail the illegal ivory trade.

Read more >>>>

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A few weeks ago I posted an article about a group of students in Kenya who started an internet site for reporting corruption at their universities.  They did this having attended a townterview with Hillary Clinton conducted by Fareed Zakaria of CNN and Beatrice Marshall of KTN at the University of Nairobi in August 2009 where Hillary said this.

I think there ought to be a way to use interactive media, especially the internet, obviously, and some of the new vehicles like Twitter, et cetera, to report in real time allegations of corruption.

The students have taken this idea from concept to action and shared with me an amazing video they made.  Here is their website, Not in My Country, with information the likes of which you would not find in Peterson’s,  and here is their video with a tribute to Hillary, as their inspiration, at the end.  Great work!  Very courageous!

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For Hillary Clinton fans and loyalists, there is nothing better than having the last smirk.  The media turned a blind eye in August 2009, when then Secretary of State Clinton toured Africa rather extensively,  except for two occasions.

One was a night out in Nairobi when,  after a rather taxing official day when she spoke at the AGOA  Forum, she hit the dance floor prompting her husband to remark in a TV interview that he wondered how he could get her to come home to  New York and do that.  The second was during a town hall with Congolese students when she went all New York on a student who asked her what President Clinton thought of something.



Few news sources, however, bothered to cover a university town hall in Nairobi the day after our  dancing queen demonstrated her ability to get down.  On stage with Fareed Zakaria and Dr. Sally Kosgey, Kenyan minister for education, science, and technology,  at the University of Nairobi,  Secretary Clinton said this.

I said in my speech yesterday before the AGOA Forum, quoting one of our famous judges, that sunlight is the best disinfectant. And I think there’s an opportunity for young people and for civil society to use modern technology to run corruption watches and reporting. There are some examples of this beginning around the world where you basically surface what is going on. And it goes on at all levels of society, and frankly, look, it goes on in our society. We have to go after it all the time ourselves. You have seen people get arrested in America, whether they’re governors or they’re Congress members, if there is a belief that they have committed an act of corruption.

And I think there ought to be a way to use interactive media, especially the internet, obviously, and some of the new vehicles like Twitter, et cetera, to report in real time allegations of corruption.

Although this message was not widely seen here, the Kenyan students heard her loud and clear and took her words very seriously as The Daily Nation Reports.

Corruption? Don’t try it at my university please

By EVERLINE OKEWO eokewo@ke.nationmedia.com
Posted  Monday, April 22   2013 at  01:00

A group of 15 graduates have localised a global whistleblowing website to report indecent activities by university lecturers and administrative personnel.

Notinmycountry.org, an Internet site developed by concerned individuals, among them professionals and students who prefer to remain anonymous, is now in Kenya and university students are using it to expose malpractices in their institutions, including corruption.


The founders say that the creation of the local chapter of notinmycountry.org was inspired by a statement made by former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton when she visited Kenya in 2009.

Read more  >>>>

So while we Hillary followers were somewhat frustrated at the time with the paltry coverage this trip received,  it is heartening to see young  people turn her words into actions that address problems they have identified in their environment.  We hope she is aware of the difference she has made in the lives of these students.

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Early this morning, HRC left Nairobi for Malawi.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says goodbye as she departs Nairobi, Kenya, on Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, en route to Malawi. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, Pool)

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton waves goodbye as she departs Nairobi, Kenya, on Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, en route to Malawi. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, Pool)

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Earlier posts provided some details about Mme. Secretary’s meetings in Nairobi with representatives of civil society, the Somali Roadmap Signatories, the Supreme Court Chief Justice Mutunga, and the embassy staff.  There were no press releases about her other meetings, but here are some pictures of her day beginning with her departure this morning from Entebbe.  We see her landing in Nairobi, meeting with President Kibaki, Prime Minister Odinga (he tweeted one of those pics himself), and proceeding to a meeting with National Assembly Speaker Marende on an artfully photographed stairway.

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There is apparently some confusion as to her exact whereabouts at the moment. An unverified source has her on the ground in South Africa (city unspecified), but according to her itinerary the next stop is supposed to be Malawi.  If she indeed stopped off in Lilongwe before proceeding to South Africa, we have no confirmation of it nor photos to confirm it..  As long ago as last Sunday, sources in Malawi  had her spending tomorrow there where it is now just past 2 a.m.

Other unverified sources have her meeting up with Liberian President  Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in Ghana for the funeral of Ghanaian President John Atta Mills who died suddenly and unexpectedly on July 24.  None of the above  is verified by the State Department.  Ghana was originally rumored to have been on the itinerary for this trip  which is scheduled to end August 10, the day of the Mills funeral.  The schedule released by DOS on July 30 does not include a Ghana stop,  and a public revision has not been released.

Clinton, Ellen Meet in Ghana, To attend late Ghanaian President’s Funeral

Written by  Observer Staff  Thursday, 02 August 2012 12:37

The United States Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Liberia President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will be among several world leaders expected to attend the funeral of late Ghanaian President J. Atta Mills on August 10, 2012.

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EDITED TO ADD THIS:  This article, which provides insight into the security precautions taken for HRC’s sojourn in Kenya,  counters the SABC report that she has arrived in South Africa.  It is morning in Kenya now.  She will be leaving soon.

Clinton held talks with President Mwai Kibaki at State House, Nairobi.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 4 – Security was tightened in Nairobi following the visit by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who arrived in the Kenyan capital on Saturday morning.

The US Secretary of State flew in from Uganda, where she met President Yoweri Museveni. She arrived at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) at 8.20am with a fleet of up to 20 staff.

Read more >>>>

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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) speaks with Chief Justice Willy Mutunga at the Supreme Court of Kenya, in Nairobi, Kenya, August 4, 2012. Clinton urged Kenya on Saturday to hold free and fair elections and be a role model for Africa, underlining the need to avoid the bloodshed suffered during the last vote five years ago. The general election next March will be the first since a disputed poll in 2007 that set off a politically based ethnic slaughter in which more than 1,200 people were killed. REUTERS/Jacquelyn Martin/Pool (KENYA – Tags: POLITICS)

Remarks Following a Meeting With Kenyan Chief Justice Willy Mutunga


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Nairobi, Kenya
August 4, 2012

I want to thank the Justice for receiving me today. I greatly appreciate the opportunity to discuss with him the progress of the constitutional reform. When the people of Kenya adopted your new constitution, the judiciary was given significant responsibilities, and I am very pleased to hear the progress that is being made. However, I am well aware that there are many issues yet to be decided and many laws to be passed (inaudible).

I discussed with the Chief Justice the upcoming elections next year, which will be so consequential for Kenya. And the United States has pledged to assist the Government and people of Kenya in ensuring that the upcoming elections are free, fair, and transparent, which is the very gift that the people of Kenya gave themselves by passing that new constitution. And we urge that the nation come together and prepare for elections that will be a real model for the entire world.

And again, I thank the Chief Justice for the important role that you and your team are playing. Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you.


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No photos are available from this meet-and-greet at the moment.  If any arrive, I will add them.  A few came in this morning  from the Embassy Kampala meet-and-greet. I added them to that post.

Remarks at a Meeting With Staff and Families of Embassy Nairobi


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Nairobi, Kenya
August 4, 2012

AMBASSADOR NOLAN: Good afternoon everyone. For those of you whom I haven’t met in my five days now – (laughter) – here in Kenya, my name is Steve Nolan. I’m the charge d’affaires, thanks to the Secretary.

We are absolutely delighted today to have so many representatives of our mission finally welcoming Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, welcome her back to Kenya. I think everybody returns to Kenya. I have returned a few times. So I would like to say, Madam Secretary, Karibu Kenya. Welcome to Kenya.


AMBASSADOR NOLAN: Madam Secretary, we are delighted that you’ve chosen to come to Kenya at such an important time in this nation’s history, with national elections coming next March and as Kenya continues to implement its new constitution. This mission is critical and involved in that transformation, and the hard work that they have done is helping this country to progress.

We all take great pride in the partnership – the strong partnership – that has gone on for nearly five decades between the United States and Kenya. And these are the people who are responsible for making it stronger. This is one of the best missions in Africa. It is also one of the largest missions in Africa, over 20 agencies, doubled in size since I was last here.

Your personal interest in Kenya and in our efforts, as a close friend and ally of this country, means a great deal to all of us. We look forward to hearing your message to us today. And to paraphrase the words of Isak Dinesen, I’d like to say that here you are, where you want to be. (Laughter.)

And without any further delay, I now present to you our honored guest, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. (Applause.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. Well, Ambassador Nolan, thank you very, very much. We’re delighted that you have taken on this responsibility to be the charge. And you bring so much experience as well as a great appreciation for this magnificent country and this incredibly important mission.

I’m also pleased that Assistant Secretary Johnnie Carson is here with us, a former ambassador to Kenya. (Applause.) I was kidding him today, he is so popular in Kenya he could run for office – (laughter) – which may turn out to be a good thing. (Laughter.)

Well, I personally am delighted to be back here in Nairobi. As Ambassador Nolan said, for 50 years, we have had a strong partnership between not only our governments but our people. And this large, significant mission is at the center of that partnership and friendship. It’s really the hub of our work in this region. From our efforts to stabilize Somalia to our engagement in the Indian Ocean, it’s a big set of responsibilities, and I am so proud of the way that this mission, with 20 different agencies as part of the United States Government presence here, really steps up time after time.

I can’t come to Nairobi and speak before an Embassy audience without remembering that next week will mark the date that our Embassy here, along with the Embassy in Dar es Salaam were bombed 14 years ago. We have not and will not forget those who were lost and injured that terrible day, and we have not and will not back down from our efforts to combat and defeat violent terrorism and extremism. The response of the Embassy community to that terrible day was extraordinary. We have recovered, rebuilt, and rededicated ourselves and gone on to even more important and lasting work.

I know that for many of you this last year has been a difficult year of transition, but despite the challenges you have continued to work with our partners here to promote democracy and economic growth. We have spent a lot of time today talking about the upcoming elections, the hard work being done to implement the constitution, to reform the courts, reform the police, to really make sure that the promise of the constitution is delivered to the people who overwhelmingly voted for it.

You have supported efforts to fight corruption, preserve the environment, promote trade and tourism. You’re stalwartly in favor of and producing results in the areas of health and education. You’ve helped administer over $350 million in humanitarian assistance, largely food aid, which is part of the nearly $12 billion in humanitarian assistance that the United States has provided the Horn of Africa over the past two years.

Now, to build on that good work and in recognition of the challenges, today I’m announcing an additional $54 million in humanitarian assistance for the Horn. (Applause.) So that will be on top of the 1.2 billion, and that will include 15 million specifically for Kenya. This funding will assist vulnerable populations living in conflict zones or hit by natural disasters, such as flooding or droughts. We’re particularly focused on Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia.

Now, when an Embassy works as well as this one, it’s because you have a such a strong community. And I especially want to thank the family members of all the U.S. Government employees, Foreign Service, and Civil Service. Your work is so important because your support is so critical. And we acknowledge it and thank you for it.

And I also want to say a special word of thanks to our local staff. Will all the Kenyans here raise your hands, all of you who have been here, the backbone? (Applause.) I frequently say that ambassadors and secretaries come and go, but the local staff – you’re here. You’re the memory bank and the nerve center, and every year you help to train up a new set of Americans. But you keep this enduring relationship going and growing, and we could not do our work without you.

So on behalf of President Obama, who has a very special place in his heart for this country, and myself and the entire team in Washington, thank you. And I especially thank you for the work that went into this visit. It was a packed day of many meetings, many consultations, all of which gave Ambassador Nolan and Ambassador Carson and myself greater insight into how the United States can support the upcoming elections.

These will be critical elections. Because of the violence in 2007, Kenya lost more than a billion dollars in investment. The GDP dropped significantly. And when government leaders ask me to help them do more to bring business and investment to this country, my quick response is then you do your part to make sure this election is free, fair, and transparent and that all Kenyans accept the results, and do your part to speak out against divisiveness, against anything that would undermine the unity of this country. Because ultimately these elections are totally within the control of the Kenyans themselves, but the United States, as your friend and your partner, want to do all we can to make sure that they are successful.

So thank you for your service and for representing the United States so well. And now let me come by and meet you and thank you in person. Thank you all. (Applause.)


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Remarks at a Meeting With the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission and Civil Society Followed by a Press Availability


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Intercontinental Hotel
Nairobi, Kenya
August 4, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first of all, let me say how pleased I am to be meeting with representatives of the Kenyan Elections Commission and civil society at such an important time in the history of this great country.

I’ve had the opportunity already today in my meetings with the President and the Prime Minister, with the Chief Justice and the Speaker, to discuss the importance of a credible, transparent, free, and fair election process. The Kenyan people have demonstrated a great commitment to their own democracy, most recently with the successful referendum on the new constitution.

But we know that there are challenges, and this is the opportunity to meet those going forward. Not only is this important for the people of Kenya, but the eyes of the world will be on this election. And I have absolute confidence that Kenya has a chance to be a model for other nations, not just here in Africa but around the world.

On the other hand, the unrest that can result from a disputed election has a terrible cost, both in lives lost and in economic impact. The instability that followed the last election cost the Kenyan economy, by most estimates, more than one billion dollars. So it’s essential for government and civil society to work together. And of course, the Elections Commission has a special responsibility to ensure that the votes and aspirations of the people are reflected accurately and fairly.

And so I’m here today to listen and learn what the United States can do to support these very important efforts. We are committed to our partnership. We are proud to be a partner and a friend of Kenya, and we want to continue doing all we can to help this country continue its path forward.

So with that, I’ll take maybe one or two questions.

MODERATOR: The gentleman over here, by the camera.


QUESTION: Thank you, Madam Secretary. My name is (inaudible). (Inaudible) Chinese influence? And second question is (inaudible) will you come to terms?


QUESTION: To terms.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Terms. Come to terms. Well, on the first question, the United States has a long history in Africa, working with countries on behalf of democracy and human rights, on behalf of healthcare and education, on economic development. We have signature programs like the African Growth and Opportunity Act, like the PEPFAR program for HIV/AIDS, for the Feed the Future program to improve agricultural output. Our emphasis has always been on supporting the lives of individuals and the democratic aspirations of people. So that is the value of what we try to offer. So what we’re interested in is how to be the best partner and friend. And that’s what I’m doing here in Kenya. We had a series of very comprehensive and constructive meetings today on a full range of issues that are important bilaterally between us, but also regionally and globally.

Of course, what happens in the elections is up to the people of Kenya. They’re the ones who will make the decisions. But we, as a partner and friend, are certainly hoping that this election, which is a complex election – there are many different ballot positions that will all be voted on the same time – goes so smoothly that everyone is so proud the next day because of what has been achieved, and that people who are unsuccessful – remember I’ve been in politics. I have won elections and I have lost elections. And when you lose an election and when your supporters see you lose and election, it’s important that they have to see that the process was fair. And that’s what we hope for here for our friends in Kenya.

MODERATOR: I think Matt had a question.

QUESTION: Yes, I do. Madam Secretary, you know – as you know, the South Sudan and Sudan have come to an agreement on oil (inaudible). I was wondering a) what do you think about? And also B) what would constitute similar success from your visits to Uganda? Would that be – what would that be, (inaudible) in the way of success and also (inaudible) hunt for Joseph Kony? And then again, (inaudible) that kind of success?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I welcome the agreement on oil reached between the Republic of South Sudan and the Republic of Sudan. This agreement reflects leadership and a new spirit of compromise on both sides. And I particularly praise the courage of the Republic of South Sudan leadership in taking this decision.

As I said in Juba yesterday, the interests of the people of South Sudan were truly at stake. The oil impasse has lasted more than six months. It was time to bring it to a close for the good of the people of South Sudan and their aspirations for a better future amidst the many challenges they face there, a nation that’s only one year and a few days old. And they have to turn to educating their people, providing healthcare, establishing strong democratic institutions.

And South Sudan’s leaders, led by President Salva Kiir, have really risen to the occasion, for which they deserve a great deal of credit. They tabled a bold, comprehensive proposal in the latest round of talks and an agreement was hammered out with the strong assistance of the African Union. And I think it’s to the great benefit of South Sudan and to Sudan.

Regarding your second and third questions, it is a great privilege and pleasure for me to be traveling as I am this week throughout Africa, meeting with a lot of old friends and meeting new people who are committed to the futures of their countries.

Clearly, we are very focused on the international hunt for Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army that has caused so much terrible damage and violence over so many years, and we had very good discussions with the Uganda People’s Defense Force on that. And we also covered a range of issues in my long conversation with President Museveni that we will be following up on.

And similarly here in Kenya, we’ve had very comprehensive discussions on economics, on humanitarian issues, the refugee issues, the very important contributions that Kenyan forces are making to AMISOM, to the work we’re doing in agriculture and so much else. And now I’m looking forward to hearing from the Elections Commission. Thank you all.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks before a meeting with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission and Civil Society at the Intercontinental Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya, Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, Pool)

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