NAIROBI - The United States Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton has lauded the pace at which Rwanda has developed in the last 15 years after the genocide.
Addressing the opening ministerial session of 8th African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) that started Wednesday in Nairobi Kenya, Clinton used Rwanda as an example of hope for Africa.
“Today, we look to nearby Rwanda. Progress sometimes comes so slowly. But in a country that had been ravaged by genocidal conflict, the progress is amazing…it has one of the fastest growing economies in Africa, even in the midst of the global recession,” said the American top diplomat.
She said that Rwanda’s health indicators were also improving. “The Rwandan people believed in themselves.”
“(Rwanda’s leaders), led by President Kagame, believe in policies based on evidence and measurable results, including a nationwide emphasis on family planning, cross-cutting partnerships with donors and NGOs, a greater premium on professionalism in the government and the health sector.”
In her remarks, she also said that her and President Barack Obama are keen on enhancing trade and commerce between the US and Africa.
“Regional trade organizations offer signs of hope, but much must be done. And of course, progress depends on good governance and adherence to the rule of law.”
Clinton’s Kenyan trip was the first of her seven-nation journey in Africa.
She is expected to visit South Africa, Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Liberia and Cape Verde.
AGOA was signed into law by Hillary’s husband, former President Bill Clinton in May 2000, to expand U.S. trade and investment with Sub-Saharan Africa, to stimulate economic growth and facilitate sub-Saharan Africa's integration into the global economy.
The Act originally covered an 8-year period from October 2000 to September 2008, but it was amended by former U.S President George Bush in July 2004 to extend it to 2015.