Clinton to South Africa: Take Greater Role on World Stage

Posted August 8th, 2012 at 12:30 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is urging South Africa – the continent's largest economic power – to take a greater role on the global stage.

The diplomat wrapped up her South Africa visit on Wednesday with a speech at the University of the Western Cape.

She urged students to live up to the legacy of anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela by confronting 21st century challenges.

The envoy said the U.S. wants to work more closely with South Africa on issues like development, trade and investment, peace, security and democracy.

“I've often heard it said that African problems need African solutions. Well, I'm here to say that some of our global problems need African solutions too. And few nations on the continent can carry as much weight or be as effective partners as South Africa. You are a democratic power with the opportunity to influence Africa and the world.”

Clinton also praised South African President Jacob Zuma and the Southern African Development Community for helping Zimbabwe draft a new constitution. She urged regional leaders to help accelerate passage of the constitution and the holding of free and fair elections in Zimbabwe.

She also urged South Africa to back U.N. Security Council actions against the Syrian government and efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Clinton is set to travel to Nigeria, Ghana and Benin.

Her tour has already taken her to Senegal, Uganda, South Sudan, Kenya and Malawi.