With U.S. Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton concluding her African visit last week, the South
Africans are doubting her real purposes, local media said on Monday.
"When Barack Obama made his first trip to Africa in 2009 as the newly-elected U.S. president, it was expected that South Africa would be his next on his hectic schedule before his first four- year term ends," the Business Day said in its editorial.
On July 11, 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama arrived in the western African country of Ghana for a historical two-day visit.
Many South Africans believed that the Obama administration would actively engage with South Africa, because the country is the largest economic entity on the African continent and the world was expecting it could play a decisive role in shaping a prosperous Africa.
However, the U.S. official visiting South Africa last week was its secretary of state instead of the president as Obama's first term is near the expiration, the editorial complained.
On Aug. 10, Hillary Clinton wrapped up her 11-day tour of six nations in Africa, where she paid a visit to South Africa on Aug. 5- 8.
The editorial stressed that Clinton's visit came as Obama was in the midst of a campaign to win a second four-year term against the Republican presidential candidate. "One has to wonder if Clinton's visit did not merely amount to a political footnote to make up for lost ground, as Obama looks to burnish his Africa credentials, especially with the African American voters in the run-up to the presidential election in November," the editorial said.
The editorial criticized Clinton for highlighting the mere lateral responsibility of South Africa on the world's economic development.
Clinton said in her speech during her visit to South Africa, "The world looks to South Africa to play a constructive role in promoting a global economic architecture that benefits everyone."
The editorial pointed out that "Africa and the world looks to the United States to follow its words with real action and orchestrate the much-needed transformation of multilateral institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund."
"When Clinton talked about promoting a global economic architecture that benefits everyone, one would hope that she also recognizes what the United States has not done to bring about real change to the world's economic architecture, " said the editorial. The article also pointed out that "sustainable clean economic growth" suggested by Clinton was unpractical.
Clinton said in a speech in South Africa, "We both want clean and sustainable growth that does not pollute our water or our air. We both want to create jobs at home while promoting a global economic recovery."
The editorial said, "These are lofty goals, and there certainly is an opportunity to make significant strides in their pursuit, if promises are followed by action from both sides." "I would have liked Clinton to provide more clarity on what the United States is going to do to help South Africa grow entrepreneurship, especially among millions of unemployed youth," the editorial said.
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