On March 23, 1998, U.S. Pres. Bill Clinton arrived in Accra, Ghana, to begin a six-country, 12-day visit to Africa, the most extensive journey to that continent ever undertaken by a U.S. leader. He went with high hopes, hailing “the beginning of a new African renaissance.”
In retrospect, however, it seemed that the visit might instead have provided grounds for scrutinizing more carefully the premises upon which U.S. policy toward Africa was formulated.
The visit began on an upbeat note with enthusiastic crowds assembling to offer their greetings. The president, in turn, seemed genuinely eager to improve trading opportunities between the U.S. and Africa.
The African growth and opportunity bill was being debated in the U.S. Congress with the object of promoting his aim, and his slogan “Trade Not Aid” underlined his determination to replace the discouraging feelings of dependency on the part of the Africans with a dynamic and mutually beneficial partnership.
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