Familiar themes on Clinton's Africa trip

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to the press in Phuket, Thailand


Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leaves tomorrow on a ten-day, seven-nation tour of Africa. First stop is Kenya for an annual African trade and investment conference. Marketplace's John Dimsdale reports trade the themes of her trade will be trade, investment and government corruption.

JOHN DIMSDALE: Coming just three weeks after President Obama's visit to Ghana, the State Department says this tour underscores the administration's commitment to improving ties with Africa.

PAUL RYBERG:Well the symbolism is obviously important, but the substance is even more important.

So far, Paul Ryberg with the African Coalition for Trade has seen nothing new from the Obama administration. He says what African countries need are trade incentives so their exports can compete with Asia. But the U.S. will only help African countries that fight government corruption. And that condition puts the U.S. at a disadvantage, says Stephen Hayes with the Corporate Council on Africa.

STEPHEN HAYES:China doesn't ask of that. So its easier for people in leadership who have fostered and fed on corruption to gravitate towards China as opposed to the United States.

Hayes says next year China will likely overtake the U.S. as the world's largest investor in Africa.

In Washington, I'm John Dimsdale for Marketplace.

About the author

As head of Marketplace’s Washington, D.C. bureau, John Dimsdale provides insightful commentary on the intersection of government and money for the entire Marketplace portfolio.


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