Clinton teaches trans-continental class on Africa

Former President Bill Clinton said Wednesday the United States and Africa have turned a corner in their relationship, but that challenges battling AIDS and other health issues remain.

"Africa's future should be viewed as it is, in the hands of Africans, both the people and their leaders," he said in a videoconferenced forum to students from seven African and American classrooms sponsored by Boston University.

Speaking from his home in Chappaqua, New York, Clinton discussed his policies in Africa during his presidency and his post-presidential work in the continent. He said he tried to promote economic development in Africa through aid, trade and debt relief programs.

"We stopped thinking about what the world should do for Africa and we started thinking about what we could do with Africans," Clinton said.

Students from the inaugural class at Clinton's School of Public Service, located on the campus of Clinton's presidential library in Little Rock, Arkansas participated in the forum with the former president.

Clinton said he didn't know if his foundation's push to provide HIV and AIDS drugs and treatment in Africa counterbalances the Bush administration's focus on abstinence-only prevention efforts.

"I have no objection to promoting abstinence, but where that is not an option anymore, we should promote prevention strategies that work," Clinton said. "I think that having it being driven by the grass roots up is the best way to go."

The former president said the U.S. needs to help African countries develop democratic governments that can effectively serve their citizens.

"We have to show the benefits of democracy and globalization to ordinary citizens," Clinton said, reoports AP.


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