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AllAfrica News: Latest
All Africa, All the Time.
  • Africa: Africans Want Democracy But Are They Getting It?
    [allAfrica]Cape Town -Popular support for democracy and against one-party rule in Africa has risen substantially in the past decade, but most Africans don't think they are actually experiencing democracy.
  • Nigeria: Boko Haram's War On Children
    [African Arguments]The news that over 200 school children were last week abducted by the Boko Haram terrorist group in North East Nigeria makes for depressing reading.
  • Nigeria: From Sticks and Machetes to Rocket-Propelled Grenades
    [IPS]Lagos -Nigerians are beginning to adjust to the sad reality that they live in a country where suicide bombers and terrorists could be lurking around the next corner thanks to a ready supply of advanced weapons smuggled through the country's porous borders. Last week, Ngupar Kemzy's cousin, Andy Nepli, told him that he planned to spend the Easter holidays with him.
Tuesday, 27 August 2013 03:49

United States condenms NE Nigeria's attack

Marie Harf, Deputy Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson US State Departments issues a press release title:

Attacks on Civilians in Nigeria's Northeast, on August 26, 2013

 

"The United States strongly condemns the killing of dozens of civilians on Tuesday in the village of Demba and the August 10 attack on worshipers at a mosque in Maiduguri perpetrated by violent extremists, reportedly affiliated with Boko Haram. We extend our deepest sympathies to the families of those killed and concern for those wounded. The United States stands with the people of Nigeria to reject the indiscriminate attacks on worshippers of all faiths. We also deplore the extra-judicial executions of suspected Boko Haram members by any group, including vigilante mobs.

 

Such violence has no place anywhere. We continue to support the aspirations of the people of Nigeria who desire stability, security, and peace. We support the government of Nigeria as it seeks to safeguard civilians and hold accountable all those responsible for violence through a process that protects civilians and respects the rule of law."  U.S. Department of State.

 

Making his first official trip to sub-Saharan Africa, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday demanded that Nigeria respect human rights as it cracks down on Islamist extremists and pledged to work hard in the coming months to ease tensions between Sudan and South Sudan.

 

Kerry, attending the African Union's 50th anniversary, backed the Nigerian government's efforts to root out Boko Haram, an al-Qaida-linked radical sect. But he said there is no excuse for abuses by armed forces in Nigeria's long-neglected north, where President Goodluck Jonathan has declared emergency rule.

 

"We defend the right completely of the government of Nigeria to defend itself and to fight back against terrorists," Kerry said. He added, however, that he has raised his concerns with Nigerian officials to insist on the military "adhering to the highest standards and not itself engaging in atrocities."

 

"One person's atrocities do not excuse another's," Kerry said. "Revenge is not the motive. It's good governance, it's ridding yourself of a terrorist organization so that you can establish a standard of law that people can respect."

 

Speaking to reporters alongside Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Kerry also blamed Sudan's government for much of the tension along its volatile border with South Sudan. He says residents in the contested areas of Blue Nile and South Kordofan don't want to be subjected to strict Islamist rules.

 

photophotoAP

 

Both areas border the new nation of South Sudan, which gained independence in 2011 under an agreement that ended decades of civil war. Many residents are sympathetic to the South, and both areas have experienced regular violence in recent years.

 

"There are very significant border challenges, but they're bigger than that," Kerry said. "You have people who for a long time have felt that they want their secular governance and their identity respected."

 

"They don't want independence; they are not trying to break away from Sudan," he said. But he said the response from Sudan's government has been to "press on them through authoritarian means and violence an adherence to a standard that they simply don't want to accept with respect to Islamism."

 

"That's the fundamental clash," Kerry said.

 

He acknowledged, however, the North's concerns that the South is fueling rebels in the areas and said the U.S. would try to work with Ethiopia and other international partners to ease tensions. He said he'd soon appoint a new American envoy to both countries.

 

Kerry met Sudan's foreign minister later Saturday.

 

His meetings in Ethiopia's capital also included the U.N. and African Union chiefs and Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi.

 

The Associated Press

 

Friday, 15 March 2013 14:46

US criticizes pardon of Alamieyeseigha

US criticizes Jonathan's administration on the pardon of  Ex-gov Alamieyeseigha

United States, Nigeria's top oil buyer has "criticized Nigeria for issuing a pardon to a former governor convicted of corruption who is a political confidant of the nation's president. In messages Friday on Twitter, the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria said it was "deeply disappointed" over the pardon issued this week of former Bayelsa state Gov. Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, who was impeached and later convicted in Nigeria. Investigators said he likely stole millions of dollars while in office," as reported by  Associated Press.

 

The embassy criticism went further  and said, "We see this as a setback in the fight against corruption."

 

According to AFP report, "Ex-Bayelsa state governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha was President Goodluck Jonathan's boss when the Nigerian leader served as Bayelsa's deputy governor, and the two are still considered very close. Alamieyeseigha was arrested in 2005 amid various allegations including that he built himself private mansions with state funds.

 

He pleaded guilty to money laundering in 2007 and was released from custody days later after a court ruled that his time served amounted to sufficient punishment. Alamieyeseigha's presidential pardon carries several benefits, including having a clean criminal record and the ability to run for office again.

 

Jonathan's spokesman Doyin Okupe called on Nigerians to respect the pardon decision taken "by the topmost echelon of leadership in this country", even if it was unpopular.

 

"It may not be palatable to everybody. It may not be acceptable to everybody, but that is the leadership of the country and that is what they have done," he said Wednesday in an interview with the private Channels television station.

Seven others were also pardoned.

 

Before his detention in Nigeria, Alamieyeseigha had been arrested in Britain in 2005 on charges of having laundered more than $3 million (2.3 million euros). After getting bail in a British court, the ex-governor fled, with several foreign media outlets reporting that he evaded authorities by dressing as a woman, a detail that has never been confirmed. He was impeached by Bayelsa's state assembly and arrested in Nigeria shortly after his escape from Britain."

The United States Embassy has cautioned Nigerians over its (US) Diversity Visa Lottery, saying that applicants need to be cautious about illegal activities of some agents who are not recognised by the embassy.

 

While addressing journalists Thursday, the embassy's Vice-Consul, Miss Rachel Okunubi, stated that individual applicants can handle the process themselves instead of involving agents who defraud them.

 

She pointed out that 'the Diversity Immigrant Visa Programme is a two-stage process: the Diversity Visa (DV Lottery) and the visa interview, saying that the entry must include exact biographical data on the entrant and all immediate family members as the time of submission.

 

On why many winners of the programme are denied entry visa to the United States, Okunubi stated that experiences have shown that many applicants improperly fill the application forms thus lacking coherence for factual documentation.

 

She added that many applicants use forged documents all in an effort to convince the consular officer who usually detect such during the interview session, saying that winners should, however unattractive their documents are, attend the interview the way they are.

 

While explaining that the minimum education requirement is high school, she pointed out that that is enough qualification, hence no need to fabricate numerous certificates to convince consular officer.

 

She stated that any winner, who come up with fake spouse, as being presently experienced at the consulate, stands a chance of being permanently denied entry visa to the United States as the offence is considered grave and taken seriously against the applicant.

 

Source: ThisDay

 

 

Monday, 04 March 2013 14:57

U.S. Boosts War Role in Africa

American Drones Help French Target Militants in Mali, as Chad Claims Killings

 

The U.S. is markedly widening its role in the stepped up French-led military campaign against extremists in Mali, providing sensitive intelligence that pinpoints militant targets for attack, U.S. and allied officials disclosed.

 

U.S. Reaper drones have provided intelligence and targeting information that have led to nearly 60 French airstrikes in the past week alone in a range of mountains the size of Britain, where Western intelligence agencies believe militant leaders are hiding, say French officials.

 

The operations target top militants, including Mokhtar Belmokhtar, the mastermind of January's hostage raid on an Algerian natural gas plant that claimed the lives of at least 38 employees, including three Americans. Chad forces said they killed him on Saturday, a day after saying they had killed Abdelhamid Abou Zeid, the commander of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb's Mali wing.

 

French, U.S. and Malian officials have not confirmed the deaths of Mr. Belmokhtar or Mr. Zeid, citing a lack of definitive information from the field. But they say the new arrangement with the U.S. has led in recent days to a raised tempo in strikes against al Qaeda-linked groups and their allies some time after the offensive began in January. That is a shift for the U.S., which initially limited intelligence sharing that could pinpoint targets for French strikes.

 

On Monday, French Army Chief Admiral Edouard Guillaud said Mr. Zeid was likely dead, but couldn't confirm it.

 

"It is likely, but it is only likely. We can't have any certainty—it would be good news—because we didn't recover the body," Adm. Guillaud said in an interview on the Europe1 radio station.

 

On whether Mr. Belmokhtar has been killed, Adm. Guillaud urged "extreme caution," as "there is always the risk of being contradicted later by a dated video." He said recent comments on Islamist Internet forums insist that Mr. Belmokhtar is alive.

 

The elite Chadian unit fighting in Mali was trained by U.S. special operations forces who have been working in Chad, Chadian and U.S. officials said this weekend.

 

The unarmed U.S. drones played a key role in the recent offensive in which French and Chadian forces succeeded in homing in on and ambushing a group of militants in the Adrar Tigharghar mountains of northern Mali, near the border with Algeria, French officials said.

 

The U.S. decision to authorize the Pentagon and U.S. spy agencies to feed detailed targeting information directly to French forces came after a lengthy U.S. administration debate over how directly to aid French strikes, according to U.S., French and other Western officials.

 

The arrangement represents a test of President Barack Obama's new strategy for dealing with the growing terrorist threat in Africa. Instead of sending American ground troops and armed drones to take direct action, the U.S. where possible will try to provide logistical, technical and intelligence support to enable local and regional partners to pull the trigger, officials say.

 

The approach could be a model for future drone operations in a region where the U.S. has few established air bases of its own, and as a way to limit Washington's role in lethal operations, officials say.

 

A Western official said the Adrar Tigharghar operation itself, in which the U.S. has provided targeting information to facilitate French and Chadian strikes, was an example of a new counterterrorism strategy of working "by, with and through" local forces and a "rare North Africa success story."

 

For weeks, U.S. spy agencies and administration lawyers debated whether providing actionable intelligence to the French to facilitate strikes would make the U.S. a "cobelligerent" in a widening conflict with an al Qaeda affiliate that U.S. intelligence agencies don't yet see as a direct threat to the U.S. homeland.

 

 

Administration officials initially cited concerns that furnishing actionable intelligence to the French would spur the affiliate, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM, to start targeting American interests in the region. They were also concerned the move would make the U.S. culpable for lethal operations that it wouldn't control.

 

 

Advocates of helping the French locate targets for strikes argued that providing the information was in the U.S. interest because it would bolster a key ally, reduce the risk that the French offensive would drag on and help eliminate militants of increasing concern to the U.S., including Mr. Belmokhtar.

 

A senior U.S. official said the Americans ultimately decided they weren't cobelligerents because the U.S. was supporting the French rather than joining the campaign.

 

photo:BBc

 

In recent years, a Joint U.S. Special Operations Task Force in Africa has provided Chad's Special Anti-Terrorism Group, the unit involved in the operations last week that allegedly killed Mr. Belmokhtar and Mr. Zeid, with equipment, training and logistical support, officials say.

 

American forces didn't accompany the Chadian unit to Mali, U.S. officials said, as Mr. Obama has so far limited the American role to provide intelligence and logistical support.

 

Chad said it has lost 26 soldiers in the Mali offensive. A senior Chadian government official confirmed that the Special Anti-Terrorism Group deployed last month to Mali and involved in the battle in the Adrar Tigharghar mountains had been trained by U.S. instructors.

 

"We have a good cooperation with the U.S.," Chadian Minister of Communication Hassan Sylla said.

 

Under the new arrangement for Mali, unarmed U.S. Reapers scour the deserts and mountains using their sensors to search for so-called patterns of life—communications and movements deemed by the U.S. to be telltale signs of militant activity, officials said.

 

The Americans then pass the raw video feeds and other real time data to French military and intelligence officers who decide if, how and when to use the information. French fighter planes or ground forces sometimes swoop in to attack. The information is also shared with African forces involved in the French-led campaign, including the Chadians, officials said.

 

In Pakistan and Yemen, other areas where U.S. has for years conducted counterterrorism operations against al Qaeda and its allies, there is no need for manned aircraft because the U.S. uses armed drones, which can both pinpoint targets and strike.

 

Relying on manned aircraft in Mali raises the time between acquiring a target and firing upon it.

 

 

France would like to buy its own fleet of unarmed American Reapers—three to start. U.S. officials said it would take time to approve such a sensitive technology transfer. As a result, French officials have suggested they may turn to Israeli drone makers instead. France's own drones, two of which operate in Mali, are less advanced and can't intercept militant communications as effectively.

 

The unarmed Reapers now helping the French in Mali are flown out of a base in nearby Niger, which recently signed a security deal with the U.S. that set the stage for the Pentagon to expand its presence in the country.

 

Current and former intelligence officials compared the cooperation in Mali to the way the U.S. helps Turkey target Kurdish separatist fighters along Turkey's border with Iraq. There, video feeds and other intelligence collected by U.S.-piloted Predator drones are relayed to a joint intelligence center in Ankara, where U.S. analysts sit next to their Turkish counterparts, who in turn can call in airstrikes.

 

U.S. military and intelligence officials have long held up the fusion center in Ankara as a successful model that could be applied elsewhere to support key allies. But such arrangements have downside risks, as evidenced by a December 2011 Turkish airstrike that killed 34 civilians. A U.S. drone tracked the group before the airstrike.

 

 

ADAM ENTOUS in Washington, DAVID GAUTHIER-VILLARS in Paris and DREW HINSHAW in Accra, Ghana

Adam Entous at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , David Gauthier-Villars at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and Drew Hinshaw at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

Source:WSJ

 

Hillary Clinton, United States Secretary of States meets Nigerian President Jonathan

"The US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton is in the Presidential Villa for a meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria in continuation of her eleven nation Africa tour. She arrived the Villa at about 3.54PM. Though details of  the meeting has not been disclosed to journalists, officials said the US Secretary of State is expected to hold discussions  with the president on  how to strengthen ties between Nigeria and the US. After meeting with the President, she is also expected to hold a meeting with the nation’s Security Chiefs, who are already."- Channel TV

 

 

 

CLINTON, HILARRY, OBADA, ASHIRU AND GOODLUCK

 

 

 

 

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in the midst of an 11-day trip across sub-Saharan Africa. Speaking on 1 August on the topic “Remarks on Building Sustainable Partnerships in Africa,” Clinton at the University of Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar, Senegal, Clinton told her audience, “The Obama Administration’s comprehensive strategy on Sub-Saharan Africa is based on four pillars: first, to promote opportunity and development; second, to spur economic growth, trade, and investment; third, to advance peace and security; and fourth, to strengthen democratic institutions.”

 

Warming to her themes, Clinton continued, “We’re also working with resource-rich nations to help make sure that their mineral and energy wealth actually improves the lives of their citizens. The days of having outsiders come and extract the wealth of Africa for themselves leaving nothing or very little behind should be over in the 21st century.”

 

While Clinton did not specify the “outsiders,” in Beijing it was taken as a direct criticism of Chinese African policies and the country was quick to reply. Xinhua news agency stated that Clinton's Africa trip was a "plot to sow discord between China (and) Africa" and continued, Whether Clinton was ignorant of the facts on the ground or chose to disregard them, her implication that China has been extracting Africa's wealth for itself is utterly wide of the truth."

 

Leaving no rhetorical stone unturned, China, which suffered colonial depredations at the hands of European powers in the 19th century, saw the editorial continue, "Ironically, it was the Western colonial powers that were exactly the so-called outsiders, which, in Clinton's words, came and extracted the wealth of Africa for themselves, leaving nothing or very little behind."

What is the overall picture then?

In 2011 Africa-China bilateral trade reached $166 billion in 2011, an increase of 300 percent over 2006 figures and China's direct investments in Africa are now nearly $15 billion.

 

The Government of China is estimated to maintain over 150 commercial attachés and associated staff at its embassies in 48 African countries, while “according to a recent report produced by the Brooking Institution’s Africa Growth Initiative, there are currently just five U.S. Commerce Department Foreign Commercial Service Officers in Africa and one is set to leave from the embassy in Ghana this summer.” Furthermore, Chinese President Hu Jintao has made seven trips to Africa, five as head of state and has visited 17 countries.

 

U.S. exports to sub-Saharan Africa during 2011 were $21.1 billion, up 23 percent compared to 2010 and U.S. imports from sub-Saharan Africa during 2011 were $74.2 billion, up 14 percent compared to 2010 for a total of $95.3 billion, according to the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR). The figure represents just 57 percent of China’s bilateral trade figures.

 

But Washington is obviously looking to improve its “bottom line” – as the USTR's Office of African Affairs notes, “Sub-Saharan Africa presents many opportunities for U.S. businesses as an emerging market for American exports. Between 2000 and 2010, six of the ten fastest-growing economies in the world were in sub-Saharan Africa.”

But what about energy?

In 2011, about 62 percent of African exports to China consisted of crude oil, with over $24.7 billion coming from Angola, now the source of over 9 percent of China’s oil imports. And the U.S.? Over the past decade, petroleum products accounted for roughly 89 percent of U.S. imports from Africa, with no less than 40 percent of Nigeria’s oil exports head westwards to the U.S., with Nigeria now the fifth largest source of oil imports to the U.S. and Angola the eighth. Companies operating in Nigeria include the U.S. companies Exxon-Mobil, Chevron and ConocoPhillips and… the Chinese National Offshore Oil Corporation. International oil companies operating in Angola include U.S. companies Chevron, ExxonMobil and Occidental Petroleum and… Sinopec.

 

And U.S. interest in African petroleum is only going to increase. The U.S. National Intelligence Council forecasts that U.S. oil imports from Africa will rise to 25 percent within three years, primarily from Gulf of Guinea countries, Nigeria and Angola.

 

So, in the shadow war between Beijing and Washington for influence on the “Dark Continent,” the latter should take note of the results of Beijing hosting the Fifth Forum on China-Africa Cooperation on 19-20 July, where it promised a) $20 billion in assistance to the continent, double the amount pledged three years ago in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, in 2009; b) an “African Talents Program” to train 30,000 people in various sectors and set up vocational training centers, 18,000 government scholarships and the dispatch of 1,500 Chinese medical personnel to Africa; c) to build infrastructure partnerships; d) people-to-people exchanges and finally, security pledges, led by the Initiative on China-Africa Cooperative Partnership for Peace and Security.

 

Seems a bit more than Hillary’s hectoring lectures on human rights. Of course, any African nation that wants to host the Pentagon’s AFRICOM headquarters will also be most welcome in Washington.

 

For the moment though, African leaders are more likely to be interested in $20 billion aid, training for 30,000 people 18,000 government scholarships and 1,500 medical personnel, whatever the source.

 

And, eyes on the prize, such largesse will probably pay off in energy concessions.


Dr. John C.K. Daly is the chief analyst for Oilprice.com, Dr. Daly received his Ph.D. in 1986 from the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University of London. While at the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute at Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, where he is currently a non-resident scholar, in 199 he founded The Cyber-Caravan, which continues today under the title, The Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst. He subsequently served as Director of Programs at the Middle East Institute in Washington DC before joining UPI as International Correspondent.

 

If you have not heard, Hillary Clinton, United States Secretary of States was in Senegal on her official 11-day African trip that will take her to Uganda, South Sudan, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa and Ghana. In capital city of Dakar she addressed Senegalese policy makers, scholars, politicians and bureaucrats at University of Cheikh Anta Diop Dakar. When she gets to Ghana she will attend the burial ceremony of late Ghanaian President Atta Mills.

From what we were gathering from the media she will be laying greater emphasis on the sustaining of democracy and on China strong influence in Africa. I will return to China later.

Therefore it is not a leisure nor safari driven trip but policy orientated. But why is it necessary to fly to Africa to remind Africans that democracy is important? America has made the spread of democracy the centerpiece of its foreign policy and Africa is no stranger to democratic doctrine of United States of America. Many African countries have accepted democracy in principle but not in practice. With weak democratic institutions and strong men the promise of true democracy is still a mirage in Africa.

Africa is endowed with natural resources and it is potentially rich but the reality is that it is underdeveloped with inferior, shanty and dilapidated infrastructures; struggling with many earthly problems including food shortage, poor governance, poverty and diseases.

As a U.S. Secretary of State, Clinton is the principal facilitator of America’s foreign policy and visibly the face of Obama’s foreign policy. President Obama is almost completing his first term in office and his policy has not changed from his predecessors who are also emphasizing democracy and peace in Africa.

The much difference is unlike former presidents of America, President Obama is not doling out cash to Africa neither he has a special project that is ongoing in the continent that requires funds infusion.

Former President George Bush (43) made available $15 Billion to fight AIDS/HIV in Africa and the result was affirmatively overwhelming, cutting down the numbers of Africans dying of the dreadful disease. It was one of the most successful programs in Africa financed by United States. Africa is thankful to former President George Bush for his humanitarian gesture to the continent.

Africa in spite of her natural resources needs fund to develop these resources and at this point in time United States, a credible and reliable friend of Africa is not in the position to dole out cash to Africa.

United States at this time has its share of problems – the slow growth of the economy, mind blowing deficits and $15 trillion debt. America cannot afford to be giving out foreign aids as it does in the past. Americans are asking their government to look inward and solve their internal pressing needs that requires lots of money.

China has come to aid of the continent and has been financing many projects in Africa without asking questions about misrule and poor human rights record in Africa. China does not run a charity based enterprise and Chinese are not in Africa for zero-sum game.

 

Clinton speaking at of Cheikh Anta Diop Dakar University


China has a massive industrial empire that needs natural resources to administer. China recognized quite well that her growth will not continues without finding new markets to trade with. China has a mammoth population of over 1.2 billion living and breathing citizens that must be feed and cloth. Chinese capitalists and investors are now investing in farming and farm lands in Africa. Food produced from those farming places in Africa can be exported to China.

Clinton may not succeed in convincing Africans to be at lookout in their relationship with China. It is becoming clear, if not self-evident that Africa and China are beginning to understand each other interest. Initially, the relationship may be little rough but with time and frequent interactions the rough edges will be made less frictional.

Africa and China are having reciprocal venture and mutual relationship: Africa has natural resources and China has cash to dole out. As each of them keeps their eyes on their respective interest, the economic and commercial ties become manageable and sustainable.

 

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (L) Senegali President Macky Sall, at the Presidential Palace in Dakar, Senegal, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, Pool)

 

But what does Africa really need from United States and West?

Encouragement and Empowerment to foster Freedom and Liberty: Africans must live in the system of government that encourages freedom and justice. The respect for fundamental human rights must be instituted and adhered to; an environment that provides self-help, self-improvement and self-innovation must be encouraged. Only freedom can make these things possible and make free enterprise a reality, so that free people can create wealth and advance human dignity.

The United States should encourage and support governance that accommodates checks and balances in Africa. This will in turn provide accountability and respect for the populace. What Africa needs mostly include elimination of dictators and socialist regimes, establishment of virile/free political platform and economy, rule of law and respect for individual rights. All these things do border on fundamental issues which foreign aid alone cannot redress. Until these issues are properly put right, the story of the optimum utilization of these billions of dollars from foreign aid will always remain a mirage.

Anti-corruption legislation: The responsibility of fighting corruption is too complex and gigantic to be left for one party. Both Africa and West must partake in the fight against corruption. The West must enact banking laws that will fish out bankers that accept laundered money and tainted wealth from corrupt African leaders and bureaucrats. Ill-gotten wealth must be returned to Africa without much ado, while the culprits must be exposed and prosecuted.

The West must work together with African governments on the war against corruption and bribery. Corporations and Transnational companies operating in Africa must not induce politicians and bureaucrats by bribes in their quest for contracts.

“African Union estimates that the continent loses as much as $148 billion a year to corruption. This money is rarely invested in Africa but finds its way into the international banking system and often into western banks. The proceeds of corrupt practices in Africa, (which the African experts group recommended in 2002 should be classified as a 'crime against humanity' because of its impact on ordinary people), are often laundered and made respectable by some of the most well known banks in the City of London or the discreet personal bankers of Geneva and Zurich."

Elimination of wars and Promotion of Peace and conflict resolutions: The West can work with African union in finding solutions to the cessation of conflicts and wars.

Wars (especially internal strife) are ubiquitous in the continent. Some African governments and warmongers commit their resources to executing endless wars. The West must frown upon the sale of arms to these parties by checkmating their natives’ arms industries.

Fair and Balance Trade: The West must encourage fair and equitable trade with Africa. The giving of aid must not be the only means to defeat poverty and alleviate quality of life in Africa.

The promotion of trade can be possible when concessions are made to infant industries in Africa. The West can improve technological developments by investing in areas of science and technology that can sharpen the technical-know-how in the continent.

The West must stand for fair trade at the World trade organization by conscientiously removing agricultural subsidies given to their own agricultural sectors that adversely affect the traffic of commodities from Africa. Only trade can be the panacea to poverty in Africa, this wills by and large booster a higher GDP and a decent standard of living.

Finally, Clinton trip is perhaps a goodwill tour that probably will not bring any substantial impact to the continent but Clinton should be commended for having Africa in her mind.

 


Emeka Chiakwelu, Analyst and Principal Policy Strategist at Afripol Organization. Africa Political and Economic Strategic Center (Afripol) is foremost a public policy center whose fundamental objective is to broaden the parameters of public policy debates in Africa. To advocate, promote and encourage free enterprise, democracy, sustainable green environment, human rights, conflict resolutions, transparency and probity in Africa. http://afripol.org. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


 

 

Published in Emeka Chiakwelu

If you have not heard, Hillary Clinton, United States Secretary of States was in Senegal on her official 11-day African trip that will take her to Uganda, South Sudan, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa and Ghana. In capital city of Dakar she addressed Senegalese policy makers, scholars, politicians and bureaucrats at University of Cheikh Anta Diop Dakar. When she gets to Ghana she will attend the burial ceremony of late Ghanaian President Atta Mills.

From what we were gathering from the media she will be laying greater emphasis on the sustaining of democracy and on China strong influence in Africa. I will return to China later.

Therefore it is not a leisure nor safari driven trip but policy orientated. But why is it necessary to fly to Africa to remind Africans that democracy is important? America has made the spread of democracy the centerpiece of its foreign policy and Africa is no stranger to democratic doctrine of United States of America. Many African countries have accepted democracy in principle but not in practice. With weak democratic institutions and strong men the promise of true democracy is still a mirage in Africa.

Africa is endowed with natural resources and it is potentially rich but the reality is that it is underdeveloped with inferior, shanty and dilapidated infrastructures; struggling with many earthly problems including food shortage, poor governance, poverty and diseases.

As a U.S. Secretary of State, Clinton is the principal facilitator of America’s foreign policy and visibly the face of Obama’s foreign policy. President Obama is almost completing his first term in office and his policy has not changed from his predecessors who are also emphasizing democracy and peace in Africa.

The much difference is unlike former presidents of America, President Obama is not doling out cash to Africa neither he has a special project that is ongoing in the continent that requires funds infusion.

Former President George Bush (43) made available $15 Billion to fight AIDS/HIV in Africa and the result was affirmatively overwhelming, cutting down the numbers of Africans dying of the dreadful disease. It was one of the most successful programs in Africa financed by United States. Africa is thankful to former President George Bush for his humanitarian gesture to the continent.

Africa in spite of her natural resources needs fund to develop these resources and at this point in time United States, a credible and reliable friend of Africa is not in the position to dole out cash to Africa.

United States at this time has its share of problems – the slow growth of the economy, mind blowing deficits and $15 trillion debt. America cannot afford to be giving out foreign aids as it does in the past. Americans are asking their government to look inward and solve their internal pressing needs that requires lots of money.

China has come to aid of the continent and has been financing many projects in Africa without asking questions about misrule and poor human rights record in Africa. China does not run a charity based enterprise and Chinese are not in Africa for zero-sum game.

 

Clinton speaking at of Cheikh Anta Diop Dakar University


China has a massive industrial empire that needs natural resources to administer. China recognized quite well that her growth will not continues without finding new markets to trade with. China has a mammoth population of over 1.2 billion living and breathing citizens that must be feed and cloth. Chinese capitalists and investors are now investing in farming and farm lands in Africa. Food produced from those farming places in Africa can be exported to China.

Clinton may not succeed in convincing Africans to be at lookout in their relationship with China. It is becoming clear, if not self-evident that Africa and China are beginning to understand each other interest. Initially, the relationship may be little rough but with time and frequent interactions the rough edges will be made less frictional.

Africa and China are having reciprocal venture and mutual relationship: Africa has natural resources and China has cash to dole out. As each of them keeps their eyes on their respective interest, the economic and commercial ties become manageable and sustainable.

 

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (L) Senegali President Macky Sall, at the Presidential Palace in Dakar, Senegal, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, Pool)

 

But what does Africa really need from United States and West?

Encouragement and Empowerment to foster Freedom and Liberty: Africans must live in the system of government that encourages freedom and justice. The respect for fundamental human rights must be instituted and adhered to; an environment that provides self-help, self-improvement and self-innovation must be encouraged. Only freedom can make these things possible and make free enterprise a reality, so that free people can create wealth and advance human dignity.

The United States should encourage and support governance that accommodates checks and balances in Africa. This will in turn provide accountability and respect for the populace. What Africa needs mostly include elimination of dictators and socialist regimes, establishment of virile/free political platform and economy, rule of law and respect for individual rights. All these things do border on fundamental issues which foreign aid alone cannot redress. Until these issues are properly put right, the story of the optimum utilization of these billions of dollars from foreign aid will always remain a mirage.

Anti-corruption legislation: The responsibility of fighting corruption is too complex and gigantic to be left for one party. Both Africa and West must partake in the fight against corruption. The West must enact banking laws that will fish out bankers that accept laundered money and tainted wealth from corrupt African leaders and bureaucrats. Ill-gotten wealth must be returned to Africa without much ado, while the culprits must be exposed and prosecuted.

The West must work together with African governments on the war against corruption and bribery. Corporations and Transnational companies operating in Africa must not induce politicians and bureaucrats by bribes in their quest for contracts.

“African Union estimates that the continent loses as much as $148 billion a year to corruption. This money is rarely invested in Africa but finds its way into the international banking system and often into western banks. The proceeds of corrupt practices in Africa, (which the African experts group recommended in 2002 should be classified as a 'crime against humanity' because of its impact on ordinary people), are often laundered and made respectable by some of the most well known banks in the City of London or the discreet personal bankers of Geneva and Zurich."

Elimination of wars and Promotion of Peace and conflict resolutions: The West can work with African union in finding solutions to the cessation of conflicts and wars.

Wars (especially internal strife) are ubiquitous in the continent. Some African governments and warmongers commit their resources to executing endless wars. The West must frown upon the sale of arms to these parties by checkmating their natives’ arms industries.

Fair and Balance Trade: The West must encourage fair and equitable trade with Africa. The giving of aid must not be the only means to defeat poverty and alleviate quality of life in Africa.

The promotion of trade can be possible when concessions are made to infant industries in Africa. The West can improve technological developments by investing in areas of science and technology that can sharpen the technical-know-how in the continent.

The West must stand for fair trade at the World trade organization by conscientiously removing agricultural subsidies given to their own agricultural sectors that adversely affect the traffic of commodities from Africa. Only trade can be the panacea to poverty in Africa, this wills by and large booster a higher GDP and a decent standard of living.

Finally, Clinton trip is perhaps a goodwill tour that probably will not bring any substantial impact to the continent but Clinton should be commended for having Africa in her mind.

 


Emeka Chiakwelu, Analyst and Principal Policy Strategist at Afripol Organization. Africa Political and Economic Strategic Center (Afripol) is foremost a public policy center whose fundamental objective is to broaden the parameters of public policy debates in Africa. To advocate, promote and encourage free enterprise, democracy, sustainable green environment, human rights, conflict resolutions, transparency and probity in Africa. http://afripol.org. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


 

 

Published in Emeka Chiakwelu

At the 19th International Aids Conference, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced U.S.$80 million for treatment for HIV-positive pregnant women.


Remarks
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington Convention Center
Washington, DC
July 23, 2012

And I want to thank the leaders of the many countries who have joined us. I want to acknowledge my colleagues from the Administration and the Congress who have contributed so much to the fight against AIDS. But mostly, I want to salute all of the people who are here today who do the hard work that has given us the chance to stand here in 2012 and actually imagine a time when we will no longer be afflicted by this terrible epidemic and the great cost and suffering it has imposed for far too long.  On behalf of all Americans, we thank you.

 

But I want to take a step back and think how far we have come since the last time this conference was held in the United States. It was in 1990 in San Francisco. Dr. Eric Goosby, who is now our Global AIDS Ambassador, ran a triage center there for all the HIV-positive people who became sick during the conference. They set up IV drug drips to rehydrate patients. They gave antibiotics to people with AIDS-related pneumonia. Many had to be hospitalized and a few died.

 

Even at a time when the world’s response to the epidemic was sorely lacking, there were places and people of caring where people with AIDS found support. But tragically, there was so little that could be done medically. And thankfully, that has changed. Caring brought action, and action has made an impact.

 

The ability to prevent and treat the disease has advanced beyond what many might have reasonably hoped 22 years ago. Yes, AIDS is still incurable, but it no longer has to be a death sentence. That is a tribute to the work of countless people around the world – many of whom are here at this conference, others who are no longer with us but whose contributions live on. And for decades, the United States has played a key role. Starting in the 1990s under the Clinton Administration, we began slowly to make HIV treatment drugs more affordable, we began to face the epidemic in our own country. And then in 2003, President Bush launched PEPFAR with strong bipartisan support from Congress and this country began treating millions of people.

 

Today under President Obama, we are building on this legacy. PEPFAR is shifting out of emergency mode and starting to build sustainable health systems that will help us finally win this fight and deliver an AIDS-free generation. It’s hard to overstate how sweeping or how crucial this change is. When President Obama took office, we knew that if we were going to win the fight against AIDS we could not keep treating it as an emergency. We had to fundamentally change the way we and our global partners did business.

 

So we’ve engaged diplomatically with ministers of finance and health, but also with presidents and prime ministers to listen and learn about their priorities and needs in order to chart the best way forward together. Now I will admit that has required difficult conversations about issues that some leaders don’t want to face, like government corruption in the procurement and delivery of drugs or dealing with injecting drug users, but it has been an essential part of helping more countries manage more of their own response to the epidemic.

 

We’ve also focused on supporting high-impact interventions, making tough decisions driven by science about what we will and will not fund. And we are delivering more results for the American taxpayer’s dollar by taking simple steps – switching to generic drugs, which saved more than $380 million in 2010 alone.

 

And crucially, we have vastly improved our coordination with the Global Fund. Where we used to work independently of each other, we now sit down together to decide, for example, which of us will fund AIDS treatment somewhere and which of us will fund the delivery of that treatment. That is a new way of working together for both of us, but I think it holds great results for all of us.  Now all of these strategic shifts have required a lot of heavy lifting. But it only matters in the end if it means we are saving more lives – and we are.

 

Since 2009, we have more than doubled the number of people who get treatment that keeps them alive.  We are also reaching far more people with prevention, testing, and counseling.

 

And I want publicly to thank, first and foremost, Dr. Eric Goosby, who has been on the front lines of all this work since the 1980s in San Francisco.  He is somewhere in this vast hall, cringing with embarrassment, but more than anyone else, he had a vision for what PEPFAR needed to become and the tenacity to keep working to make it happen. And I want to thank his extraordinary partners here in this Administration, Dr. Tom Frieden at the Centers for Disease Control and Dr. Raj Shah at USAID.

 

Now, with the progress we are making together, we can look ahead to a historic goal: creating an AIDS-free generation. This is part of President Obama’s call to make fighting global HIV/AIDS at home and abroad a priority for this administration. In July 2010, he launched the first comprehensive National HIV/AIDS Strategy, which has reinvigorated the domestic response to the epidemic – especially important here in Washington D.C., which needs more attention, more resources, and smarter strategies to deal with the epidemic in our nation’s capital.

 

And last November, at the National Institutes of Health, with my friend Dr. Tony Fauci there, I spoke in depth about the goal of an AIDS-free generation and laid out some of the ways we are advancing it through PEPFAR, USAID, and the CDC. And on World AIDS Day, President Obama announced an ambitious commitment for the United States to reach 6 million people globally with lifesaving treatment.

 

Now since that time I’ve heard a few voices from people raising questions about America’s commitment to an AIDS-free generation, wondering whether we are really serious about achieving it. Well, I am here today to make it absolutely clear: The United States is committed and will remain committed to achieving an AIDS-free generation. We will not back off, we will not back down, we will fight for the resources necessary to achieve this historic milestone.

 

I know that many of you share my passion about achieving this goal. In fact, one could say I am preaching to the choir. But right now, I think we need a little preaching to the choir. And we need the choir and the congregation to keep singing, lifting up their voices, and spreading the message to everyone who is still standing outside.

 

So while I want to reaffirm my government’s commitment, I’m also here to boost yours. This is a fight we can win. We have already come so far – too far to stop now.

 

I want to describe some of the progress we’ve made toward that goal and some of the work that lies ahead.

 

Let me begin by defining what we mean by an AIDS-free generation. It is a time when, first of all, virtually no child anywhere will be born with the virus. (Applause.) Secondly, as children and teenagers become adults, they will be at significantly lower risk of ever becoming infected than they would be today no matter where they are living. And third, if someone does acquire HIV, they will have access to treatment that helps prevent them from developing AIDS and passing the virus on to others.

 

So yes, HIV may be with us into the future until we finally achieve a cure, a vaccine, but the disease that HIV causes need not be with us.

 

As of last fall, every agency in the United States Government involved in this effort is working together to get us on that path to an AIDS-free generation. We’re focusing on what we call combination prevention. Our strategy includes condoms, counseling and testing, and places special emphasis on three other interventions: treatment as prevention, voluntary medical male circumcision, and stopping the transmission of HIV from mothers to children.

 

Since November, we have elevated combination prevention in all our HIV/AIDS work –including right here in Washington, which still has the highest HIV rate of any large city in our country. And globally, we have supported our partner countries shifting their investments toward the specific mix of prevention tools that will have the greatest impact for their people. For example, Haiti is scaling up its efforts to prevent mother-to-child transmission, including full treatment for mothers with HIV, which will in turn, of course, prevent new infections. And for the first time, the Haitian Ministry of Health is committing its own funding to provide antiretroviral treatment.

 

We’re also making notable progress on the three pillars of our combination-prevention strategy. On treatment as prevention, the United States has added funding for nearly 600,000 more people since September, which means we are reaching nearly 4.5 million people now and closing in on our national goal of 6 million by the end of next year. That is our contribution to the global effort to reach universal coverage.

 

On male circumcision, we’ve supported more than 400,000 procedures since last December alone. And I’m pleased to announce that PEPFAR will provide an additional $40 million to support South Africa’s plans to provide voluntary medical circumcisions for almost half a million boys and men in the coming year. You know and we want the world to know that this procedure reduces the risk of female-to-male transmission by more than 60 percent and for the rest of the man’s life, so the impact can be phenomenal.

 

In Kenya and Tanzania, mothers asked for circumcision campaigns during school vacations so their teenage sons could participate. In Zimbabwe, some male lawmakers wanted to show their constituents how safe and virtually painless the procedure is, so they went to a mobile clinic and got circumcised. That’s the kind of leadership we welcome. And we are also seeing the development of new tools that would allow people to perform the procedure with less training and equipment than they need today without compromising safety. And when such a device is approved by the World Health Organization, PEPFAR is ready to support it right away.

 

And on mother-to-child transmission, we are committed to eliminating it by 2015, getting the number to zero. Over the years  – we’ve invested more than $1 billion for this effort. In the first half of this fiscal year, we reached more than 370,000 women globally, and we are on track to hit PEPFAR’s target of reaching an additional 1.5 million women by next year. We are also setting out to overcome one of the biggest hurdles in getting to zero. When women are identified as HIV-positive and eligible for treatment, they are often referred to another clinic, one that may be too far away for them to reach. As a result too many women never start treatment.

 

Today, I am announcing that the United States will invest an additional $80 million to fill this gap. These funds – (applause) – will support innovative approaches to ensure that HIV-positive pregnant women get the treatment they need to protect themselves, their babies, and their partners. So let there be no mistake, the United States is accelerating its work on all three of these fronts in the effort to create an AIDS-free generation and look at how all these elements come together to make a historic impact.

 

In Zambia, we’re supporting the government as they step up their efforts to prevent mother-to-child transmission. Between 2009 and 2011, the number of new infections went down by more than half. And we are just getting started. Together, we’re going to keep up our momentum on mother-to-child transmission. In addition, we will help many more Zambians get on treatment and support a massive scale-up of male circumcision as well, two steps that, according to our models, will drive down the number of new sexually transmitted infections there by more than 25 percent over the next 5 years. So as the number of new infections in Zambia goes down, it will be possible to treat more people than are becoming infected each year. So we will, for the first time, get ahead of the pandemic there. And eventually, an AIDS-free generation of Zambians will be in sight.

 

Think of the lives we will touch in Zambia alone – all the mothers and fathers and children who will never have their lives ripped apart by this disease. And now, multiply that across the many other countries we are working with. In fact, if you’re not getting excited about this, please raise your hand and I will send somebody to check your pulse.

 

But I know that creating an AIDS-free generation takes more than the right tools, as important as they are. Ultimately, it’s about people – the people who have the most to contribute to this goal and the most to gain from it. That means embracing the essential role that communities play – especially people living with HIV – and the critical work of faith-based organizations. We need to make sure we’re looking out for orphans and vulnerable children who are too often still overlooked in this epidemic.

 

And it will be no surprise to you to hear me say I want to highlight the particular role that women play.  In Sub-Saharan Africa today, women account for 60 percent of those living with HIV. Women want to protect themselves from HIV and they want access to adequate health care. And we need to answer their call. PEPFAR is part of our comprehensive effort to meet the health needs of women and girls, working across United States Government and with our partners on HIV, maternal and child health, and reproductive health, including voluntary family planning and our newly launched Child Survival Call to Action.

 

Every woman should be able to decide when and whether to have children. This is true whether she is HIV-positive or not.  And I agree with the strong message that came out of the London Summit on Family Planning earlier this month. There should be no controversy about this. None at all.

 

And across all of our health and development work, the United States is emphasizing gender equality because women need and deserve a voice in the decisions that affect their lives.  And we are working to prevent and respond to gender-based violence, which puts women at higher risk for contracting the virus. And because women need more ways to protect themselves from HIV infection, last year we invested more than $90 million in research on microbicides. All these efforts will help close the health gap between women and men and lead to healthier families, communities, and nations as well.

 

If we’re going to create an AIDS-free generation, we also must address the needs of the people who are at the highest risk of contracting HIV. One recent study of female sex workers and those trafficked into prostitution in low and middle income-countries found that, on average, 12 percent of them were HIV-positive, far above the rates for women at large. And people who use injecting drugs account for about one third of all the people who acquire HIV outside of Sub-Saharan Africa. And in low-and middle income countries, studies suggest that HIV prevalence among men who have sex with male partners could be up to 19 times higher than among the general population.

 

Now over the years, I have seen and experienced how difficult it can be to talk about a disease that is transmitted the way that AIDS is. But if we’re going to beat AIDS, we can’t afford to avoid sensitive conversations, and we can’t fail to reach the people who are at the highest risk.

 

Unfortunately, today very few countries monitor the quality of services delivered to these high-risk key populations. Fewer still rigorously assess whether the services provided actually prevent transmission or do anything to ensure that HIV-positive people in these groups get the care and treatment they need. Even worse, some take actions that, rather than discouraging risky behavior, actually drives more people into the shadows, where the epidemic is that much harder to fight.

 

And the consequences are devastating for the people themselves and for the fight against HIV because when key groups are marginalized, the virus spreads rapidly within those groups and then also into the lower-risk general population. We are seeing this happen right now in Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia. Humans might discriminate, but viruses do not.

 

And there is an old saying that goes: “Why rob banks? Because that’s where the money is.” If we want to save more lives, we need to go where the virus is and get there as quickly as possible.

 

And that means science should guide our efforts. So today I am announcing three new efforts by the United States Government to reach key populations. We will invest $15 million in implementation research to identify the specific interventions that are most effective for each key population. We are also launching a $20 million challenge fund that will support country-led plans to expand services for key populations. And finally, through the Robert Carr Civil Society Network Fund, we will invest $2 million to bolster the efforts of civil society groups to reach key populations.

 

Now Americans are rightly proud of the leading role that our country plays in the fight against HIV/AIDS. And the world has learned a great deal through PEPFAR about what works and why. And we’ve also learned a great deal about the needs that are not being met and how everyone can and must work together to meet those needs.

 

For our part, PEPFAR will remain at the center of America’s commitment to an AIDS-free generation. I have asked Ambassador Dr. Goosby to take the lead on developing and sharing our blueprint of the goals and objectives for the next phase of our effort and to release this blueprint by World AIDS Day this year. We want the next Congress, the next Secretary of State, and all of our partners here at home and around the world to have a clear picture of everything we’ve learned and a roadmap that shows what we will contribute to achieving an AIDS-free generation.

 

Reaching this goal is a shared responsibility. It begins with what we can all do to help break the chain of mother-to-child transmission. And this takes leadership at every level – from investing in health care workers to removing the registration fees that discourage women from seeking care. And we need community and family leaders from grandmothers to religious leaders to encourage women to get tested and to demand treatment if they need it.

 

We also all have a shared responsibility to support multilateral institutions like the Global Fund. In recent months, as the United States has stepped up our commitment, so have Saudi Arabia, Japan, Germany, the Gates Foundation, and others. I encourage other donors, especially in emerging economies, to increase their contributions to this essential organization.

 

And then finally, we all have a shared responsibility to get serious about promoting country ownership – the end state where a nation’s efforts are led, implemented, and eventually paid for by its government, its communities, its civil society, its private sector.

 

I spoke earlier about how the United States is supporting country ownership, but we also look to our partner countries and donors to do their part. They can follow the example of the last few years in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, India, and other countries who are able to provide more and better care for their own people because they are committing more of their own resources to HIV/AIDS.  And partner countries also need to take steps like fighting corruption and making sure their systems for approving drugs are as efficient as possible.

 

I began today by recalling the last time this conference was held here in the United States, and I want to close by recalling another symbol of our cause, the AIDS Memorial Quilt. For a quarter-century, this quilt has been a source of solace and comfort for people around the world, a visible way to honor and remember, to mourn husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, partners and friends.

 

Some of you have seen the parts of the quilt that are on view in Washington this week. I well remember the moment in 1996 when Bill and I went to the National Mall to see the quilt for ourselves. I had sent word ahead that I wanted to know where the names of friends I had lost were placed so that I could be sure to find them. When we saw how enormous the quilt was covering acres of ground, stretching from the Capitol building to the Washington Monument, it was devastating. And in the months and years that followed, the quilt kept growing. In fact, back in 1996 was the last time it could be displayed all at once. It just got too big. Too many people kept dying.

 

We are all here today because we want to bring about that moment when we stop adding names, when we can come to a gathering like this one and not talk about the fight against AIDS, but instead commemorate the birth of a generation that is free of AIDS.

 

Now, that moment is still in the distance, but we know what road we need to take. We are closer to that destination than we’ve ever been, and as we continue on this journey together, we should be encouraged and inspired by the knowledge of how far we’ve already come. So today and throughout this week let us restore our own faith and renew our own purpose so we may together reach that goal of an AIDS-free generation and truly honor all of those who have been lost.

 

Thank you all very much.

 

Hillary Clinton is the United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton 19th International Aids Conference

Source: US State Department

 

 

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