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Clinton Signs New $10M Agreement On HIV/AIDS With Angola, Says U.S. ‘Stands Ready’ To Work With South Africa On HIV/AIDS

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton signed a new agreement with Angola aimed at controlling the spread of HIV/AIDS, the Associated Press reports. “The Obama administration will more than double funding for Angola to combat the disease, from $7 million to $17 million,” the news service writes (Lee, 8/10). Clinton toured an HIV/AIDS clinic, and “praised the government’s fight against the disease in Angola which has a 2.8 prevalence rate on a continent that has been ravaged by HIV,” Agence France-Presse/africaasia.com reports (8/10).

Clinton flew to Angola on Sunday after a two-day stop in South Africa the “third leg” of her tour of seven African nations in 11 days, CNN reports (8/9). At a news conference, she gave Angola a “gentle nudge … to push harder to democratize,” according to the New York Times. “We know opportunity and prosperity for the Angolan people depend on good governance and democracy,” she said, highlighting “what has become the dominant theme of her seven-nation Africa tour,” the newspaper writes (Gettleman, 8/9). During Clinton’s time in Angola, she met with President Eduardo dos Santos, who has ruled the country for 30 years, the AP writes. On Monday, Clinton heads to Congo “to target an epidemic of sexual assault in the violence-torn nation,” according to the AP (8/10).  

Clinton Says U.S. ‘Stands Ready’ To Work With South Africa On HIV/AIDS, Meets With Zuma

During her visit to an HIV/AIDS clinic in South Africa on Friday, Clinton said the U.S. “stands ready to work with the South African government in whatever way the government believes is effective” to combat HIV/AIDS, the Washington Post reports. According to the newspaper, Clinton “welcomed the new South African government’s approach to fighting HIV/AIDS,” and said the U.S. is “eager … to broaden and deepen our relationship” with President Jacob Zuma’s government. 

The U.S. delegation, which included U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Eric Goosby and Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), “toured a clinic in the poor mining town of Cullinan, outside Pretoria, that is funded by the U.S. and South African governments.” South African Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi told Clinton that the clinic “has changed life around this place as people used to know it” (Sheridan, 8/8).  Clinton “stood shoulder to shoulder with two patients” from the clinic as one patient told her of story living with HIV, writes the New York Times (Gettleman, 8/7).

According to AFP/News24.com, “the clinic which Clinton visited has treated 1,000 patients since opening in 2006.” Lowey, who chairs the House subcommittee that funds U.S. foreign aid, said while she hopes funding will increase, “we have to use every dollar efficiently.” The AFP/africaasia.com reports that Paula Akugizibwe, with the AIDS Rights Alliance for Southern Africa, called for developed countries to pledge more money, saying, “It’s good that Clinton is coming here and getting in touch with the realities on the ground. But the bottom line is that if you don’t have money, you can’t do treatment and you can’t do prevention” (8/8).

The Christian Science Monitor “global news” blog reports that PEPFAR “gave nearly $590 million to help South Africa fund its own programs for education, prevention, and treatment. More than 500,000 South Africans received antiretroviral treatment medicines, and 1.8 million received other AIDS-related care and support through PEPFAR last year” (Baldauf, 8/7).

VOA News reports that Clinton indicated that President Obama “has made Africa a high priority for his administration and that the United States recognizes the central leadership role South Africa plays in Africa.” Clinton said, “One cannot think about making progress on so many fronts, from health and education to conflict resolution, without working hand in hand, closely cooperating and coordinating with South Africa” (Robertson, 8/7).

Clinton met with Zuma on Saturday and described her meeting as “helpful,” SAPA/the Times reports. “I really appreciate the opportunity that President Zuma has given us,” said Clinton (8/8). Zuma said after the meeting, “In both countries, there are two new administrations which are taking that relationship a level higher,” Bloomberg reports (Zacharia, 8/8).  The two “were reported to have discussed Sudan, Somalia and Zimbabwe,” according to the Observer (Smith, 8/9).

Coverage Examines $20B Agriculture Initiative

The Los Angeles Times reports that though “analysts say U.S. strategic priorities in Africa remain as they were under the Bush administration,” they point to a $20 billion global agriculture initiative as the “main” difference between the two administrations. The initiative has the potential to alleviate poverty for millions for farmers, according to Dan Glickman, an agriculture secretary in the Clinton administration and a “strong proponent of the initiative,” the newspaper writes. On the other hand, Gerald LeMelle, executive director of Africa Action, points out that G8 countries “subsidize their farmers to the tune of $785 billion a year.” He added, “They can flood Africa with cheap agricultural products and completely undermine African farmers” (Dixon, 8/9).

In related news, the Christian Science Monitor examines Africa Rural Connect, or ARC, an organization, which “aims to connect 200,000 current and past Peace Corps volunteers, the African diaspora, and farm and technology experts with Africa’s millions of small farmers.” The concept seems to be a good match “with two of Secretary Clinton’s stated goals laid out in a speech in Washington last month: to enhance the concept of ‘partnering’ in U.S. foreign policy, and to make better use of America’s current and former development practitioners,” writes the newspaper.

According to the Christian Science Monitor, “Behind ARC is the conviction that, as useful as big international programs may be, sometimes the best ideas come from farmers or unsung development experts” (LaFranchi, 8/7).

Clinton ‘s Trip Is A ‘Good Beginning’ To Africa Policy ‘Still In The Making,” Editorial Says

Clinton’s tour of Africa “reaffirms the administration’s pledge to keep the long-neglected continent in its sights,” and it is a “good beginning to an Africa policy still in the making,” according to a Los Angeles Times editorial. “The administration is right that foreign aid and institution-building must go hand in hand if there is to be transformational change in Africa,” according to the Los Angeles Times, which also states that “Obama has the opportunity to build on” President Bush’s programs to fight HIV/AIDS and malaria on the continent (8/8).