In an Africa policy address to members of the Addis Ababa diplomatic corps and the Young Africa leader network, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry highlighted crises in Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia and the Central African Republic and urged Africans to demand stability and financial development.
He called for an expansion of American investment in Africa and noted that U.S. companies IBM, Microsoft and Google already have spent more than $100 million on projects across the continent.
“So this is clearly a moment of opportunity for all Africans,” Kerry told about 100 Ethiopians at an environmentally-friendly auditorium on a mountaintop. “It is also a moment of decision.”
The Obama administration has sought to expand U.S. private investments in Africa, and last year financed about $1 billion to support American businesses across the continent, including an estimated $650 million in sub-Saharan Africa.
Rice backs out of delivering Rutgers commencement
NEW BRUNSWICK (AP) — Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has backed out of delivering the commencement address at Rutgers University following protests by some faculty and students over her role in the Iraq War.
Rice said in a statement yesterday that she informed Rutgers President Robert Barchi that she was declining the invitation to speak at the graduation.
“Commencement should be a time of joyous celebration for the graduates and their families,” Rice said. “Rutgers’ invitation to me to speak has become a distraction for the university community at this very special time.”
The school’s board of governors had voted to pay $35,000 to the former secretary of state under President George W. Bush and national security adviser for her appearance at the May 18 ceremony. Rutgers was also planning to bestow Rice with an honorary doctorate.
But some students and faculty at New Jersey’s flagship university had protested, staging sit-ins and saying Rice bore some responsibility for the Iraq War as a member of the Bush administration. Barchi and other school leaders had resisted the calls to disinvite Rice, saying the university welcomes open discourse on controversial topics.