Africa News blog
African business, politics and lifestyle
When Hillary Clinton visited the Democratic Republic of Congo in August, she spoke out against rape and said women should not be used as “weapons of war”.
The Secretary of State wanted Congo’s government to do more to stop sexual violence and prosecute offenders in an area where armed groups still use rape to terrorise local people seven years after the war was meant to have ended.
In Kiwanja in eastern Congo, counsellors are trying to rebuild the lives of rape victims, both women and men.
A 62-year-old widow, who does not want to give her real name, says she was attacked and repeatedly raped by a group of youths, who also killed her 20-year-old son.
U.S Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 10 day trip to Africa ends this week with many commentators viewing it at least partly as being aimed at offsetting China’s growing economic clout on the African continent.
In public, Clinton has delivered Washington’s traditional messages on the importance of fair elections and of fighting corruption and human rights abuses.
But the fact that top oil producers Angola and Nigeria are both on the tour has made clear the importance of the visit from the perspective of ensuring access to resources – an area of huge importance to China too.
Sudath Perera has every reason to be content. He started up his textiles factory outside the Kenyan capital Nairobi nine years ago; today, he employs 1500 workers and turns over between 18 and 20 million U.S. dollars a year.
“We are contributing to the local economy by creating employment,” he says. “And indirectly there are a lot of local suppliers also relying on us.”
A presidential visit followed by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s African tour cannot conceal a stark reality: China has overtaken the United States as Africa’s top trading partner.
That is one of the main problems facing Clinton on a seven-nation jaunt meant variously to spread Washington’s good governance message and shore up relationships with its key oil suppliers on the continent.