T H E   W H I T E   H O U S E


Text Only Help Site Map


"From Kampala to Cape Town, from Dakar to Dar-Es-Salaam, Africans are being stirred by new hopes for democracy and peace and prosperity. Challenges remain, but they must be to all of you a call to action, not a cause for despair. You must draw strength from the past and energy from the promise of a new future."

President Clinton
Accra, Ghana
March 23, 1998

President Clinton has made ending conflict and cultivating democracy in Africa a central focus of his foreign policy, as demonstrated in his historic trip to the continent in 1998. He has strongly supported the growing trend towards democracy in Africa, working directly with African institutions to resolve Africa's conflicts and consolidate its peaceful transitions. Promoting democracy and stability in Africa means building the capacity of the institutions needed to promote justice, foster internal trade, enhance regional cooperation, and consolidate peace efforts.


Making and Keeping Peace

  • Successfully negotiated, in close cooperation with the Organization of African Unity (OAU), a final peace agreement between Eritrea and Ethiopia that was signed in Algiers on December 12, 2000. The agreement ended what was the largest conventional war on earth, and built upon the joint U.S.-OAU negotiation of a Cessation of Hostilities Agreement signed in Algiers on June 18, 2000.
  • Announced, in Nigeria in August 2000, a new U.S. program to train and equip seven West African battalions for peacekeeping operations in Sierra Leone (this was President Clinton's second trip to Africa.) Increased U.S. assistance to Nigeria's democratic transition from $7 million at the outset of the transition to $170 million by the end of the Administration. In announcing new funding to combat infectious diseases, promote education and bridge the global digital divide, President Clinton put into practice the commitment made by G-8 leaders in July 2000 to tackle these development challenges.
  • Supported mediation efforts in Burundi led by former Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere and then by former South African President Nelson Mandela, including through a live videoconference between Presidents Clinton and Mandela during the February, 2000 mediation round. President Clinton also joined former South African President Nelson Mandela in Arusha, Tanzania, for a Burundi Peace Conference, which led to the signing of a framework peace agreement by the nineteen parties to the peace talks.
  • On his trip to Africa in March of 1998 -- the most extensive to the continent of any American President in history -- President Clinton visited Ghana, Uganda, Rwanda, South Africa, Botswana and Senegal. In Uganda with Ugandan President Museveni, President Clinton co-convened a Heads of State Summit which included several other heads of state: Presidents Moi (Kenya), Mkapa (Tanzania), Bizimungu (Rwanda), and Kabila (Congo), and Prime Minister Meles of Ethiopia. Also present were the Secretary General of the Organization for African Unity (OAU) and a representative of the OAU Chairman. At the summit, President Clinton announced the formation of an International Coalition Against Genocide, and the Great Lakes Justice Initiative, which supports efforts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda and Burundi to build the institutions needed to end to the culture of impunity. This followed the creation of a new Early Warning System to alert the international community to future abuses.
  • Provided over $100 million to assist the Economic Community of West African States peacekeeping operation, also known as ECOMOG, in support of regional peacekeeping and humanitarian relief efforts in Liberia and Sierra Leone.
  • Launched the Africa Crisis Response Initiative, which has since 1996, trained more than 6,000 peacekeepers from six African countries, to respond quickly and effectively to humanitarian and peacekeeping challenges.
  • Established the African Center for Strategic Studies in Arlington, Virginia, to engage senior African leadership in a program of civil-military relations, defense resource management and national security decision-making.
  • Provided an additional $8 million to the OAU to support its new conflict management programs.
  • Worked with African regional leaders to support a cease-fire agreement in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; invited all state signatories to New York for a special session of the Security Council; and provided direct assistance to the region's Joint Military Commission and to the internal Congolese dialogue led by former Botswanan President Masire.
  • Formed a Bilateral Consultative Commission with Angola to work jointly on issues of common concern, including democracy, human rights, regional security and the civil war in Angola.
  • Played a leading role in ongoing international efforts to halt the trade in "conflict diamonds" used by insurgent groups to fuel conflicts across the continent.
  • Raised the international profile of HIV/AIDS and committed the United States to providing over $400 million to combat the disease in 2001.

Building Democracy

  • Supported democratic elections across Africa, and provided assistance to development of the judiciary, legal systems, media and civil society organizations in over 20 countries.
  • Provided on average $120 million per year (during the last eight years) in support of democracy programs to build grassroots, civil institutions and government capacity for democracy, human rights, good governance and conflict resolution across the continent, in addition to other development assistance aimed at increasing production and improving health care and education.
  • Created the President's Education for Development and Democracy Initiative, which furthers Africa's integration into the global community by improving the quality of education by: updating available technology, supporting girls' and women's education and linking African private and public schools as well as African and American educational institutions. The Initiative operates in 32 countries, with the support of the U.S. private sector and other organizations in 29 American states.
  • Supported the post-apartheid political and economic transition in South Africa, through the Vice President's Binational Commission; developed a comprehensive program to support the democratic transition in Nigeria, including through the Joint Economic Partnership Committee.
  • Provided advice and technical assistance to African labor ministries to promote core labor standards and eliminate abusive child labor.
  • Promoted education and technology, helped farmers to manage their natural resources and increase production, and educated those most at risk to HIV/AIDS, among other tasks, through 2,300 Peace Corps volunteers.
  • Supported Africa's capacity to address collective security, regional conflicts and peacekeeping, including through support to growing regional institutions -- the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS), East African Community (EAC) and Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

President and First Lady | Vice President and Mrs. Gore
Record of Progress | The Briefing Room
Gateway to Government | Contacting the White House
White House for Kids | White House History
White House Tours | Help | Text Only

Privacy Statement