Travel Diary: Economic Progress, Prosperity in South Africa

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
August 8, 2009
Nelson Mandela Bridge in Johannesburg

Interactive Travel Map | Text the Secretary | Behind the Scenes PhotosYesterday, Secretary Clinton met with business leaders through the International Development Corporation in Johannesburg, South Africa. Secretary Clinton said:"South Africa, as a member of the G-20 and one of the most important emerging economies of the world, is uniquely positioned to advance its own economic trajectory and to propel economic growth on the African continent as a whole. Looking at the world map today, it isn't easy to find countries with financial and economic policies that have been as sound as South Africa's. And I know how difficult that is. But I also recognize that these policies have translated into good credit and low levels of debt, banks that are solvent and well-regulated and largely free of the type of bad loans that led to the bank failures in my country and others that helped to fuel this economic crisis that swept across the globe. Frankly, we could learn a lot from your example.

You have also taken other steps critical to economic progress that are all too rare on the African continent. You’ve shown a willingness to embrace political reconciliation and adopt a modern, progressive constitution, to diversify your economy, to include women more broadly as citizens and entrepreneurs, and to adapt new technology to the challenges that we face today. So these factors have all contributed to South Africa being able to expand trade, attract investments, create jobs, and build a dynamic economy that has become a springboard for investors not only here, but those looking for opportunities beyond your borders.

But while other countries in Africa have also made impressive gains over the past decade, the global economic crisis has, you know well, stalled much of that progress and created dangerous instability in many places. It has taken a toll here as well in unemployment and other economic setbacks. But if you look at the underlying fundamentals, South Africa is in a promising position to move forward when we all move out of this global recession, to achieve its own recovery, and to help economies in the region as well."

Read the Secretary's full remarks at International Development Corporation's event in Johannesburg, South Africa.



August 9, 2009

Edidiong writes:

Why is there so much negativity towards Africa in U.S. media and U.S. government websites?

New Mexico, USA
August 9, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Edidiong, To express concern is not "negative", especially when governments in Africa have a long history of thinking of themselves before the welfare of their people, and we're footing (the taxpayer is) billions of dollars in humanitarian aid at the same time..

We simply expect to see results, and to get that sometimes it's neccessary to tell it like it is, with no sugar coating on the words just to appease egos.

Africa will sink or swim, depending on whether they can make the institutional changes neccessary to protect the rights of populations to life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness.

It's not simply in Afrca's interests alone that these realizations must be made, but in the whole world's interests.

Stop and consider for a moment what you might say if we didn't object to the daily death toll on the continent from starvation, disease, war, poverty, and corruption in governments.

I would add that our government here in the U.S. and the media simply reflect what is on the public's mind.

Best regards,


New York, USA
August 24, 2009

Noel in New York writes:

I'm sure this has been a fascinating trip to the continent of Africa by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The scope of many pictures and video clips alone can tell a story of thousand words that can embrace anyones imagination. The continent of Africa surely needs the attention with it's poverty levels of hunger, make shift housing and HIV/AIDS diseases that should be the main priority of all Africa's issues. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's 11 day tour of 7 African Countries has addressed bringing to the forefront many of these important and serious humanity problems all across Africa in the "World media" CNN and to the responsibility of many African Governments. It will take great leadership in partnership of the World's communities cooperation "The United Nations" to distribute natural and humanitarian resources "modern technology, education, food, etc." raising the ability to successfully face these challenges. I beleive the resources are there to accomplish all these goals in the minds of many great leaders and hearts.


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