Clinton to Make Seven-Nation Africa Visit This Week

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is to visit Africa this week. In Africa she's expected to show support for the government of Somalia, renew political pressure on Zimbabwe and raise awareness of sexual violence in Congo, The Kansas City Star reports.

She will also visit South Africa, Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Liberia and Cape Verde, returning to Washington on August 14. "All of these countries are of importance and significance to the United States," Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Johnnie Carson said in an interview last week, reports.

While in Kenya, she'll see the beleaguered president of lawless Somalia's interim government and offer support.

Also on the agenda is oil-rich Angola, a major supplier of crude and natural gas to the U.S. market. China has been courting Angola recently and Clinton's trip there is intended to strengthen its ties with the U.S., WGME reports.

Clinton is expected to spotlight President Barack Obama's commitment to making Africa a priority in U.S. foreign policy.

Her visit is the earliest in any U.S. administration that both the President and the Secretary of State have visited Africa.

Professor Okey Onyejekwe, director of governance at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa told VOA that Clinton's Africa visit will help concretize the core principles President Obama recently unveiled in Accra, Ghana.

"I imagine that this is really a followup to President Obama's visit to Accra in which he basically sketched out the general thrust of America's policy towards Africa. And I think that it will be worthwhile if now she can operationalize and concretize some of the raw principles which was contained in Obama's speech in Accra," Onyejekwe said, Voice of America reports.

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