Hillary Clinton’s Africa Trip

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Will the agricultural lobby groups in this country, where farmers get about $30 billion in annual subsidies, allow beef from Botswana, Zimbabwe and Kenya, for example into the American market?

[Global: Africa]

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives in Nairobi, Kenya for a seven country visit starting August 5.

On the day she arrives she will be attending the US – Sub – Saharan Africa and Economic Forum in Nairobi, an initiative by former US president George W. Bush.

No doubt when Clinton arrives in Africa she will be extolling the virtues of democracy, and how democratic countries will be rewarded with access to the American market.

She will also no doubt talk of Africa should not be marginalized but join in the international community.

First of all it is time that people realized that democracy does not equate to freedom; it is only part of freedom. A far more important part of freedom is the concept of equality before the law and respecting that concept, not just having it written down in a constitution—after all in the former USSR, everybody was supposedly equal; but nobody respected the constitution and thus people suffered, they knew they where not equal.

Many African countries are starting from a very low base. It needs to act like the USA when it first won its independence from the British Empire. If Clinton really wants to do the right thing she has to extol the virtues of equality before the law being a cornerstone of freedom.

The U.S. must also be honest. Will the agricultural lobby groups in this country, where farmers get about $30 billion in annual subsidies, allow beef from Botswana, Zimbabwe and Kenya, for example into the American market? Or will U.S. markets remain closed and stifle growth in Africa?

Will the powerful Mars corporation ever allow chocolate bars from Ghana to compete with U.S. candy? Or will Ghana, like most African countries continue to sell unprocessed agricultural commodities, with no value-added economic benefits?
Will Clinton also be bold enough to urge dictators to step aside and allow Africans to elect their leadership?

If Clinton and the Obama administration are truly genuine, then the message will be simple—it is time Africa allowed its people to use their knowledge to create goods that are affordable to the Africans.

Allow those who are talented set up power generation companies; preferably alternative energy, and solar power. Africa enjoys abundant sunlight and wind yet there is so much power shortages.

Africans don’t need to be patronized; they need to be permitted the opportunity to use their natural and mineral resources to develop African economies.


Bhekuzulu Khumalo is a knowledge-economist and author of the book, “The Fundamental Theory of Knowledge” available at www.lulu.com

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