Clinton to offer Africa a new deal

The United States is to embark on a major initiative on Africa, designed to shift the focus of policy from aid and development towards trade and investment.

The policy, whose key word is "partnership", was presented by President Bill Clinton with great fanfare from the White House yesterday and concludes months of consideration in the US Administration about how and whether the US should play a greater role in the continent.

Last year, the then Secretary of State, Warren Christopher, made the first tour of Africa by a US official of that rank, and Mr Clinton's wife, Hillary, and daughter, Chelsea, toured investment and aid projects in several African countries this spring.

The announcement of the Africa initiative came as the US was making final preparations for the annual summit of the Group of Seven industrialised countries - this year called the Summit of the Eight because it includes Russia - which opens on Friday in Denver, Colorado.

The timing was seen in Washington as a move by the US to pre-empt criticism from other G7 countries, notably France, that it was not doing as much as it could to assist developing countries in general, and African countries in particular.

Last year, US overseas aid fell below the level of France for the first time. However, yesterday's announcement was also seen as an attempt to concentrate discussions at Denver, where a session will be devoted to Africa, on the successes among African states that have adopted free market principles. Last year, these countries achieved an average growth rate of 5 per cent.

Analysts said the US might also be concerned to divert attention away from what one called "the few" African countries experiencing civil strife.

They noted that France, and perhaps some other G7 members might see Mr Clinton's initiative as an attempt to steer summit discussions away from their concerns about stemming poverty and resolving conflicts in Africa. The five-point initiative includes the redirection of already agreed funds towards infrastructure projects, among them telecommunications - and backing for private investment. The US will also implement a debt reduction agreement that was reached in February, to lessen the debt burden on the poorest African countries.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: On behalf of a successful academy i...

Investigo: Finance Business Partner

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Investigo: My client, a global leader in providing ...

Austen Lloyd: Commercial Property Solicitor - West London

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: WEST LONDON - An excellent new opportunity wit...

Recruitment Genius: Florist Shop Manager

£8 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A Florist Shop Manager is required to m...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project