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Vol 39 No 6

Published 20th March 1998

African roadshow rolls

At last there are signs of Washington's new thinking on Africa as President Clinton sets off on a six-stop tour

Above all, President Bill Clinton’s 23 March - 2 April trip to Africa is an attempt to change the American perception of Africa: that the world’s poorest continent - albeit the home of Nelson Mandela, and some of the best musicians and soccer players in the world - should be accorded the same respect as Asia and Latin America. Domestically (and that’s what counts in Washington’s foreign policy) the trip will be counted a success if media interest goes beyond war and famine issues, and if US business, currently wrong-footed by the Asian meltdown, starts looking more seriously at productive investment in Africa.

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