On Thursday, August 6th, Secretary Clinton continued delivering her message of good governance to Kenyans when she spoke at a public forum hosted by the University of Nairobi. She once again expressed dissatisfaction with the progress made by the Kenyan leadership in addressing governance issues, especially after the post-election violence. She focused on corruption and told the audience that the public has a significant role to play in the fight against corruption by being watchdogs and exposing corrupt practices. She used Iran as an example of the use of technology in forcing government reform and encouraged the Kenyan youth to use social tools on the internet, such as Twitter and Facebook, to report cases of corruption. Secretary Clinton was asked for a response to Prime Minister’s Odinga’s statements earlier in the week where he said Kenya did not need a lecture from the west on governance, she said that ignoring Kenya’s internal issues was the easy option but the U.S. government’s criticisms were from a friend to the Kenyan people.
In addressing public concerns that even when corruption is exposed, charges are never acted upon, Clinton insisted that this should not stop the pressure, as the discourse would eventually force change. In this context she said that only Kenyans could figure out what would work for them, once again echoing President Obama’s messages in Ghana about the need for home grown solutions.
Sec. Clinton left Kenya on Thursday and continued her Africa tour in South Africa where on Friday, August 7th, she announced that the U.S. and South Africa would work more closely together to push reforms in Zimbabwe so that the power sharing agreement would be fully implemented. She noted the important role of South Africa on the continent, as well as their sound economic policies which leave them well positioned to propel growth throughout Africa. Because of President Obama’s high prioritization of Africa, the administration recognizes the importance of working with South Africa to tackle the continent’s social and development concerns. Secretary Clinton also had a meeting with Nelson Mandela. From South Africa, Secretary Clinton will proceed on to Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Liberia and Cape Verde.