Clinton Concludes African Tour In Cape Verde

“Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Cape Verde on Friday, the final stop on her seven-nation Africa tour in which she emphasized good governance and urged officials to implement reforms,” CNN reports (8/14). According to Al Jazeera, “Clinton, who started her journey in Kenya, flew from Liberia on Thursday to Sal, one of Cape Verde’s islands, and was due to meet Jose Maria Neves, the prime minister,” on Friday (8/14). Johnnie Carson, U.S. assistant secretary of state for Africa, said Cape Verde “is a country which is democratically run, well managed” and has used U.S. economic assistance “extremely well,” Bloomberg writes (Zacharia, 8/14).  

When reflecting on the 11-day trip, Clinton said it helped to build better links between the U.S. and Africa. “This was a very important trip that both President Obama and I wanted… to send a very clear message that the Obama Administration is committed to developing an even stronger and closer relationship with not just the government, but especially the people of Africa,” she said in Liberia after meeting President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, SAPA-DPA/ reports (8/14).

Clinton’s trip is the “latest example of her push for so-called personalized diplomacy, which focuses as much on meeting businessmen and civil-society groups as heads of state and diplomats. In her speeches, the secretary underscored the Obama administration’s commitment to ‘soft power’ and using trade, technology and aid in addition to military power to protect American interests,” the Wall Street Journal writes in an article that analyzes Clinton’s time in Africa (Childress/Solomon, 8/14).

According to the Boston Globe, Clinton’s trip to Africa “sent the clearest signal yet that she intends to make women’s rights one of her signature issues and a higher priority than ever before in American diplomacy.” Her goals include “pressing governments to crack down on sexual abuse and retooling U.S. aid programs to put more emphasis on women,” the newspaper writes in an article examining her commitment to women’s issues. The article also includes information about some of the challenges to this agenda (Sheridan, 8/14).

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