Clinton to tour Africa to discuss trade

June 1, 2011 12:00 am

, WASHINGTON, June 1 – US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will travel to Zambia, Tanzania and Ethiopia next month to discuss trade, development and other issues, a spokesman said Tuesday.

Clinton, following a trip to the United Arab Emirates, will visit Zambia\’s capital Lusaka on June 10 for the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Ministerial Forum, Clinton\’s deputy spokesman Mark Toner said.

"She will showcase this centerpiece of our trade policy with Africa and engage with government, private sector and civil society representatives from 37 different countries," Toner told reporters.

A pact sealed in 2000, AGOA gives exports from the world\’s poorest countries of the continent duty-free status on the US market.

In Zambia, Clinton will also meet Zambian President Rupiah Banda, who is seeking re-election this year, and "participate in events to highlight US government initiatives to improve the lives of the Zambian people," Toner said.

Afterward, he said, Clinton will travel to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, but gave no precise dates.

The chief US diplomat will meet with Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete and Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.

"In Tanzania, she will highlight our successful bilateral engagement, including a host of programs, including Feed the Future," Toner said.

In Ethiopia, Clinton will "focus on regional issues," visiting the African Union headquarters and meeting with AU Chairman Jean Ping in addition to holding bilateral meetings with Ethiopian officials.

She will also meet with representatives of civil society — which usually includes human rights and other society activists — to "draw attention to their innovative and enterprising work," Toner said.

In August 2009, Clinton made a whirlwind seven-nation trip to Africa, taking in Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia and Cape Verde.


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