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Secretary Clinton will be leaving August 5 for a seven-country tour of Africa. She will hit Kenya, South Africa, Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Liberia, and Cape Verde. (Whew!) The itinerary suggests that the theme of the trip will be more real politik than President Obama’s recent visit to Ghana which stressed good governance and was a celebration of Ghana’s recent electoral and economic successes. The Secretary, in choosing the largest economies and the continent’s most influential capitals, is likely to highlight more traditional U.S. economic and security interests. A few thoughts on what to expect -- and what Africa can hope for:
This post also appeared on the Huffington Post on July 7, 2009.
Leaders of the worlds’ eight richest countries gather this week in Italy for the annual G8 summit. Crowding their agenda will be the financial crisis, climate change, and food security. Education should be high on the agenda, too. Others agree with me: three prominent moral leaders have written to the G8 urging them live up to their prior promises to ensure that every girl and boy has a chance for an education.
In testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade last week, CGD president Nancy Birdsall argued that support for the G-20 commitments to increase lending resources at the IMF is a critical part of ensuring U.S. recovery from the economic crisis and global prosperity and security. She was, however, confronted with a host of concerns about whether multilateral lending would go to governments like Iran, Sudan, and Syria, and with one member of Congress’s view that he “is a citizen of the United States, not the world.”
The U.S. should do more to support the International Monetary Fund and its efforts to stabilize the global economy, CGD president Nancy Birdsall and three other witnesses told the House Financial Services Subcommittee on International Monetary Policy and Trade last week.
In the midst of the current economic crisis, recovery at home will naturally be the focus of the new president, but the United States cannot prosper if the rest of the world lags behind. Nor can Americans be safe in a world where economic instability turns fragile states into failed states that harbor terrorists, drug traffickers, or communicable diseases. It is crucial in responding to the situation that the United States avoids beggar-thy-neighbor policies, such as new trade barriers, that ultimately leave everyone worse off.
In the midst of the current economic crisis, recovery at home will naturally be the focus of the new president, but the United States cannot prosper if the rest of the world lags behind. Nor can Americans be safe in a world where economic instability turns fragile states into failed states that harbor terrorists, drug traffickers, or communicable diseases.