Clinton: Africa Must Fight Corruption to Expand Trade

Posted June 10th, 2011 at 12:05 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, visiting Zambia Friday, is urging African leaders to fight corruption if they hope to benefit from U.S. trade preferences.

Speaking to business and civic leaders in Lusaka , Clinton said the White House is committed to expanding U.S. trade with Africa.

She said African nations must create a supportive “climate” that will allow businesses to operate without either overwhelming regulations or harassment from corrupt officials.

The African Growth and Opportunity Act , offers duty-free trade with the United States to nations that meet good-governance and business-practice requirements – at present, 37 countries. The act was passed more than a decade ago to improve U.S. trade with Africa.

Clinton says the Obama administration wants to develop a partnership with Africa that supports long-term progress based on economic growth, not on handouts.

The secretary of state spoke at the close of a two-day forum on AGOA trade preferences. She next will travel to Tanzania, on Saturday, and Ethiopia, on Monday.

While in Tanzania, Clinton is scheduled to meet with President Jakaya Kikwete and discuss U.S.-Tanzanian bilateral programs.

In Ethiopia, she will hold talks with Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. She will also visit African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa to discuss regional issues with AU chairman Jean Ping.