Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Africa on Friday to sell the benefits of U.S. economic partnership to a continent where China has built strong aid and investment ties.
Clinton arrived in Zambia to begin her five-day trip, which will also take her to Tanzania and Ethiopia to highlight the Obama administration’s drive to deepen economic ties with Africa and help it meet challenges ranging from HIV/AIDS to food security.
“Increased trade is one of the fastest ways to expand economic growth, spur development, and reduce poverty across Africa,” Assistant Secretary of State Johnnie Carson, Washington’s top diplomat for Africa, told reporters before Clinton’s arrival.
The trip has been overshadowed by news that Clinton has been in discussions with the White House about moving on next year to become the first female head of the World Bank, which could cast her as a lame duck at a time of huge diplomatic challenges for the United States.
Both the White House and the State Department have denied the news, which was reported exclusively by Reuters on Thursday citing three closes familiar with the discussions.
Those sources, informed of the official denials, said the story remained accurate.