Clinton Kicks Off African Tour in Senegal

Posted August 1st, 2012 at 6:15 am (UTC-5)
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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets with Senegal's new president Macky Sall on Wednesday as she kicks off a 10-day trip across sub-Saharan Africa.

The top U.S. diplomat's multi-nation tour is expected to focus on U.S. efforts to boost regional peace and security, encourage development, spur economic growth, and promote democracy.

During her first stop, the State Department says Clinton will deliver a speech “applauding the resilience of Senegal's democratic institutions.”

Clinton's tour also includes stops in the continent's youngest nation, South Sudan, as well as Uganda, Kenya, Malawi and South Africa

Human Rights Watch is urging Clinton to use the trip to encourage African leaders to do more to promote freedom of expression and deal with excessive police violence.

This is Clinton's first trip to sub-Saharan Africa since President Barack Obama announced his new strategy toward the region in June. Last year, she visited Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and Tanzania.

One highlight of Clinton's trip will come in South Africa, where she will meet with 94-year-old former president and democracy icon Nelson Mandela.