Thursday, August 13, 2009

Clinton arrives in Abuja, Nigeria

Hillary Clinton arrived in the capital of Nigeria Tuesday night, August 11th, 2009. As reported by both the BBC and Peter Clottey of the Voice of America, Clinton's itinerary for this 36 hour visit to Abuja includes meetings with politicians from several parties prior to meeting President Yar'Adua. Suleiman M. Bisalla and Aisha Umar of Nigeria's Daily Trust write that the Nigerian administration is offended that Clinton's staff put her itinerary together without first consulting them. Such an arrangement may run "contrary to diplomatic norms" but shows that key advisors such as Johnnie Carson as well as Mrs. Clinton herself are aware of the complexity and dynamism of Nigeria's multi-ethnic political landscape. It is too bad that she will be unable to visit more of the country to absorb the roots of the complexity among the people in their local environment.

Imnakoya, Solmonsydelle, and Beauty have also posted today on the Clinton visit to Nigeria.

Jewels in the Jungle has a fabulous and very lengthy post on the Clinton's entire trip to Africa. Firoze Manji, writing in Pambazuka News, analyzes the focus on economic development and promotion of the interests of U.S. corporations by Clinton in picking countries to visit and issues to raise with African politicians.

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At 5:31 PM , Anonymous imnakoya said...

Thanks for the link Don.

I really doubt if it falls within Hillary's job description to "absorb the roots of the complexity among the [Nigerian] people in their local environment", as stated. Even if she wants to do that it will take days if not weeks to get just a cursory view of what is happening in Nigeria.

I'm curious to know how the town-hall meeting went.

At 5:47 PM , Blogger Don Thieme said...

I agree. So many of our regional "experts" in foreign policy are really just wonks, though. We occasionally get someone who is a refugee or emigre who knows a bit more, but often they have an axe to grind.

Johnnie Carson seems to know a great deal about Nigeria, but I am getting the impression that he is a bit too tight with Atiku to have been at the helm for this visit.

At 2:32 AM , Anonymous Beauty said...

I was disappointed with this non-event. She actually preached to the believers. If she's the best this US administration can do then, Obama will be in trouble by mid-term.

At 7:21 AM , Blogger Don Thieme said...

@Beauty - I was not expecting very much, but what occurred was nonetheless a disappointment. I would like to think that our great African American president and his Secretary of State would do more than trade our death toys for Nigerian oil. Do Nigerians really admire us for killing so many people in foreign wars?

At 6:15 AM , Blogger BRE said...

Thank you for the reference to my opening post about Clinton's tour of Africa. I left a response to your comment and am very appreciative of your visit and support.

I still have not read very much about her visits to Nigeria, Liberia, and Cape Verde as I am still stuck on her visit to the DR Congo. My second post in the series is up so do stop by when you can find the time. I shall keep hammering away at U.S.-Congo (DRC) relations until something cracks open back in Washington (they do read my stuff from time to time over at Foggy Bottom).

As a geologist you may appreciate my references to the Congo's importance re: the natural sciences and conservation. Check out the link to the African Business Magazine article about the estimated value of the DR Congo's mineral reserves, and please offer your professional opinion if you think that this article at African Business is pure speculation without any scientific basis.

Again, thank you Don and be well down there in the sweltering heat of the Land of the Red Earth (Georgia, USA).

BRE in Germany

At 8:20 AM , Blogger Don Thieme said...

Bill - I replied on your blog. The DRC is definitely one of the most mineral-rich areas in the world.

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