Travel Diary: From Africa, Secretary Clinton Responds to Your Questions

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
August 10, 2009
Secretary Clinton at Kenyan Agricultural Research Institute

Interactive Travel Map | Text the Secretary | Behind the Scenes PhotosSecretary Clinton answers questions taken during her trip to Africa.

While in Africa, Secretary Clinton has accepted questions submitted online and via text message. Lazarus from Georgia wrote:"As an American who was born in Uganda, I would like to know what the U.S. is doing to deal with the food shortage in many Sub-Saharan countries."

Secretary Clinton responded: "This is an important question. Agriculture in Africa has been held back for decades by wars that have forced farmers to flee their fields, by diseases that too often strike the young and the strong, by climate change which has caused droughts and floods that destroyed cropland, as the people of East Africa know too well. Farmers in Africa have also faced lack of investment from the private sector as well as governments and the global community, while technologies that have helped farmers in other parts of the world haven’t yet been adapted to the extent necessary to Africa’s needs. Together, these challenges have eroded the foundation of African agriculture.

The United States is committed to help strengthen the entire agricultural chain here in Africa and around the world. We think that is a critical tool for promoting economic growth and integrating Africa into the regional economy. We are convinced that investing in agriculture is one of the most high-impact cost-effective strategies available for reducing poverty and saving and improving lives. That’s why we have made this a signature element of our nation’s foreign policy. We do not seek to impose a one-size-fits-all approach. We will partner with individual countries to help them develop their own strategies for reform. We will work with partners outside government, including NGOs, foundations, and universities to provide coordination, minimize duplication, and maximize results.

In Nairobi, I was very pleased to visit our partners at the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), where African scientists are developing tools to boost productivity of Africa’s farms – part of a broad strategy to strengthen the entire agricultural sector, to increase income, to support rural communities, and to drive economic growth."

Read Secretary Clinton's answers to other frequently asked questions here. The Secretary will continue to accept questions about her travel to Africa as the trip continues. You may ask a question online or via text: U.S. 90822 | Non-U.S.: 202-255-6299.



William W.
August 10, 2009

William W. in the Netherlands writes:

A few years ago Zimbabwe did not know food chorteges! then Mugawe kicked out the white farmers and than there was no food! farm are still there, need help from real farmers! inflation is enormous high, perhaps the highest inflation in the world!If no one takes action, a new humanitarian catastrofy will take place, like in darfur, but now in zimbabwe!

California, USA
August 10, 2009

Normita in California writes:

Dear Secretary Clinton:

As I follow your travel to the African continents, I am amazed by your ability to connect with not only the countries' leaders, but with the people. In you, they found a compassionate figure to uplift their spirits and someone who remind them of the vast opportunities ahead.

Your statement addressing agriculture is close and dear to my heart. I was born in the Philippines with a vast agricultural resources, many of which are untapped. The institutions that you stated -- NGO's, foundations and universities -- are all seeking the kind of partnership that you highlighted above. I have forwarded a copy of this DipNote to a couple of entities in the Philippines so they can learn more about it.

I am forever grateful for your work in awakening the senses of global leaders and for bringing joy to the everyday folks in the villages. God bless you and God bless the villagers in Africa!

With peace, love and joy,
a proud hillaryvillager


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