News Release

Africa: Analysts Available

DEBORAH TOLER
Policy analyst with the Institute for Public Accuracy, Toler said today: “While this latest trip to Africa by Clinton is supposedly about stability and democracy, the corporate agenda also needs to be scrutinized. In exchange for paltry trade benefits, the ‘NAFTA for Africa’ African Growth and Opportunity Act made sub-Saharan Africa the only region in the world now subject to MAI [Multilateral Agreement on Investment] conditions. The recently announced loans from the Export-Import Bank are intended to undermine Brazilian and Indian sales of less expensive generic AIDS drugs and encourage African countries to go even further into debt in order to purchase drugs from U.S. pharmaceutical companies. The recent announcement of more U.S. aid to the Nigerian military is as much about diamond production in neighboring Sierra Leone as anything. Bottom line, Clinton is going to Nigeria on behalf of Chevron and Shell Oil, not on behalf of the overwhelming majority of Nigerian people.”
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NJOKI NJOROGE NJEHU
Director of the 50 Years is Enough Network, Njehu said today: “When Clinton went to Africa in 1998, there was talk of the ‘African Renaissance’ — which has come to naught. There hasn’t been debt cancellation. The neo-liberal agenda is moving forward as evidenced by the African Growth and Opportunity Act, which opens up sub-Saharan Africa for U.S. corporate opportunities, while doing little for the masses of African people.”
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EZEKIEL PAJIBO
Senior policy analyst with the Africa Faith and Justice Network, Pajibo said: “The U.S. would do well to come through on its debt relief commitments and pledge substantial resources to address the AIDS pandemic… Nelson Mandela has been attempting to forge a peace agreement in Burundi that may come to at least partial fruition next week. The people of Burundi have been at war since 1993. More than 200,000 people have been killed. Others continue to live precariously as refugees in neighboring countries, especially Tanzania, which Clinton will be visiting.”
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KEN SILVERSTEIN
Author of the just-released Private Warriors, a book examining the post-Cold War arms trade, Silverstein said today: “The U.S. government is not so much interested in Africa as in small parts of it that are mineral rich, such as the Niger Delta in Nigeria, which has a great deal of oil. There’s been cooperation between the U.S. and Nigerian militaries and private military firms like Military Professional Resources Inc. and multinational companies. Firms like MPRI are made up of former Pentagon officials and have trained Croatian units which have been implicated in war crimes in Yugoslavia. If Clinton wanted to spare Africa a great deal of grief, he could simply order the State Department to cancel the licenses of these military firms.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020