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REMINISCENCES — HOW PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON PRESSED FOR DEBT RELIEF SPECIFICALLY FOR NIGERIA; SOUTH AFRICA

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Spread the love‘’If you want to give Mr. Nelson Mandela a birthday present, do something to deal with Africa’s challenges, do something to tap Africa’s promise. It is not as if we don’t know what to do, it is not as if we have no evidence that what we can do will work. Africa abounds with evidence of what works. What we have to do is take what works and spread it across the continent. That is our job.’’ For the first time in history the rest of the world is interested in working not for or against Africa, but working with Africa, listening to you, looking to you, and learning from you. One lesson we all have to learn from Mr. Mandela is how to build a community across divisions of race, religion and tribe.  —President Bill Clinton GOING INTO HISTORY: Records indicate that there is no United States president (past or present); or even world leader that has championed the cause of Africa and its welfare more than Bill Clinton; in and out of office. He tied his campaign for debt relief to countries committed to reform and democracy, and succeeded in getting the G7 Group of industrialized countries to embrace the campaign at their meeting in Germany, in June, 1999.  He offered debt forgiveness to the tune of US$5.7 billion owed the United States by 36 of the world’s poorest nations, provided that they used the windfall to finance what he called “basic human needs.” Clinton Administration’s foreign policy tilted towards multilateralism (involving several States) instead of bilateralism. Clinton engaged in transformed regionalism in Africa; and State Department officials embraced warmly the Nigeria-led ECOMOG peace operations in Liberia, despite media criticism. Washington gave some $29 million support to the ECOMOG peace-keeping operations and channeled some $200 million

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