Interview With Baruani Muhuza of Radio Free Africa
Secretary of State
QUESTION: (Inaudible) Madam Clinton, I’d like to take this opportunity, special opportunity, to welcome you and your delegation in Tanzania and yourself in our radio station, Radio Free Africa. We broadcast through East Africa and all over the Great Lakes countries. Let me introduce myself. I’m Baruani Muhuza.
My first question, I’m going to start with about the U.S. trade approach for Africa. Do you see Chinese interest as inherently incompatible with your interest in this continent?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first thank you for giving me this opportunity to be interviewed. I appreciate being on this network.
With respect to your question, we do not see the Chinese commercial and diplomatic interest in Africa as inherently in conflict with U.S. interest. We both have a long history in Africa. We were neither of us colonial powers, so we have a different set of relationships throughout the continent.
But I have raised questions about ensuring that as any company, whether it’s an American company or a Chinese company or an Indian or a Brazilian – any company that does business in Africa I hope adheres to the highest standards of how workers are treated, how the environment is protected, how the benefits from the investments are not just going to the elites in countries but more broadly spread across the population.
Because I think it’s important at this stage of African development, with African countries really beginning to show great growth, that it be sustainable, that companies don’t come into Africa, just take natural resources, and leave nothing behind. Let’s leave paychecks behind. Let’s leave small-and medium-sized businesses behind. Let’s leave a rising standard of living behind. And that is certainly the objectives that President Obama and I have for our involvement in the continent.
QUESTION: Yeah. I know while you were in Zambia you had put it that you want to work closely with China and you have begun a dialogue with them, a dialogue, of (inaudible) activities in Africa. Do you have the same submission in this continent?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, what we are trying to determine is can we work together, can we cooperate on development programs. I’ll give you an example. We learned that in one country we were building a hospital, and China was building a road, but neither of us knew what the other was doing, so the road did not lead to the hospital. So we think that if we better coordinate and share information what we are doing could perhaps be of more benefit to the people of the countries in which we are working.
And I think there are many ways that there are international standards that should be adopted, for example, in extractive industries, in mining, in agriculture, so that all companies from all countries are held to a high standard that will benefit Africa. We don’t want to see a new form of colonialism in 21st century Africa.
QUESTION: And Madam Secretary, now I’d like to ask you about the issue of climate change, especially for Africa. How does the U.S. help the developed countries, where the days are numbered to the next conference, which will be held in Durban, South Africa?
SECRETARY CLINTON: We’re looking forward to the Durban conference. And one of the reasons we are is that at the last conference in Cancun, Mexico, the international community adopted the establishment of what is called a Green Fund. That will be a fund for developed countries to put resources in to help developing countries deal with climate change. So we want to see the fund fully established by Durban. We want to see it begin working by Durban. So we’re hoping that we’ll see a big step forward at the climate change conference in South Africa at the end of the year.
QUESTION: Madam, last week the Government of Southern Sudan called for end military intervention over and the confrontation (inaudible) forces loyal to its military, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, SPLA, and the Northern Sudan armed forces in border state of South Kordafan. What is your opinion on that about the whole Sudan’s crisis from Juba, Darfur, and now this Abyei.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first we have to do everything we can to prevent an outbreak of violence and a renewal of the conflict that ravaged Sudan, both North and South, for so many years. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement, signed by both the North and the South in 2005, sets forth a framework that needs to be followed. There are continuing questions and differences between Khartoum and Juba. But I hope that the leaders who are meeting today in Addis Ababa with Prime Minister Males of Ethiopia and former-president Thabo Mbeki, who is the AU envoy, will sit down and begin to talk over those differences.
There does have to be a border set between the North and the South. Abyei’s future has to be decided. Determining how the oil will be handled – there are many remaining questions. But we know that if the president of Sudan, President Bashir, will sit with soon-to-be-president Salva Kiir with people from Africa who care about resolving these conflicts, there’s a way forward, and that is what we are pushing from the United States.
QUESTION: Let me finish. But there is some complaints about rather than acting decisively the African Union, AU, courted to pressures from outside the continent and voted for UN Security Council Resolution Number 1973, which authorized military action in Libya. To you Madam, how did you receive this point compared to your clear message that Qadhafi must go?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first, I think that the African representatives on the Security Council, which are South Africa, Gabon, and Nigeria, made their own decisions. They looked at the facts very carefully. They listened to the people of Libya who were scared that their own leader was going to hunt them down like rats, which is what he had said. They consulted with the Arab League, which took a very strong position asking for – in fact, demanding – United Nations action.
So I think the three African countries made a very careful analysis and decided that we could not stand by and watch Qadhafi’s tanks and airplanes and military personnel destroy and kill so many thousands of people. The opposition has been proving itself worthy. They started off with no military at all. They’re doing much better. They are forming an inclusive governing council. So I think that the decision that Nigeria, Gabon, and South Africa made, based on their own experiences – they brought their own experiences to the Security Council – was the right decision.
Now, we all want this to be resolved peacefully, but in order for it to be resolved peacefully Mr. Qadhafi must agree to a ceasefire and quit his attacks on his own people. I mean, this is like the most elementary expectation of a leader, and unfortunately, he has not agreed to do that. So we will continue with Arab countries and NATO and other countries to protect civilians.
QUESTION: Thank you very much and welcome again in Tanzania.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much for your thoughtful questions.
QUESTION: Thank you.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, sir.