William Jefferson Clinton


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Seattle Times business reporter

GREG GILBERT / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa battles stereotype of Africa in chaos.

Even for a country with a relatively stable democracy and growing economy, Zambia hasn’t had much luck finding Americans willing to invest there.

Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa said he hopes to change that by introducing more Americans to his country and fighting the stereotype of Africa as a place defined by war and chaos.

Speaking to local business leaders Monday, Mwanawasa said Zambia has become a center of peace and prosperity in the region. The country has emerged from a long period of economic decline to achieve an average annual 5 percent growth in gross domestic product for the last five years.

“It’s the first time the country is experiencing such strong positive results,” the Zambian leader said, adding that sustaining the success could bring about an economic transformation to improve the lives of ordinary people.

The landlocked country of 12 million people in southern Africa still suffers from high unemployment and crippling poverty, with about 68 percent of the population falling below the poverty line of $1 per day.

Zambia has taken a strong stance against corruption and created a foundation based on the rule of law and respect for private property, Mwanawasa said.

The country’s main industries are copper mining, agriculture, manufacturing and tourism.

A former British protectorate that gained independence in 1964, Zambia is encouraging more foreign direct investment and growth of the private sector to help reduce poverty.

“When you invest in Zambia, you’re putting GDP in the pockets of Zambian people,” Mwanawasa said.

Mwanawasa, 59, was in the United States for a meeting of the U.N. General Assembly. He traveled here at the invitation of the Seattle-based Initiative for Global Development, a national network of business leaders promoting policies to end global poverty.

He and a delegation of senior government officials and business leaders were scheduled to visit the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, PATH, Microsoft, Boeing and Starbucks on Monday.

Mwanawasa said he had dinner Sunday at the house of former Microsoft executive Paul Maritz, a Zimbabwe native who lives on Mercer Island.

While Zambia has had a rush of investment from China recently, attracting U.S. business has been an uphill battle.

On previous visits to the U.S., “the response hasn’t been encouraging,” Mwanawasa said.

“So far Africa has been known only for the bad news,” said Felix Mutati, Zambia’s minister of commerce. “In Africa, we’ve got problems with HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases,” he said, “but we’re not a diseased country.”

In Zambia, the Gates Foundation funds a malaria-control program run by PATH that aims to cut malaria cases by 75 percent and become a model for the rest of Africa.

Zambia has introduced incentives to encourage foreign enterprises, such as tax-free profits for the first five years and duty-free imports of capital equipment, said Mutati.

Energy, IT infrastructure, agriculture and eco-tourism are promising areas for development, he added.

“We don’t want help,” Mutati said. “We want investment. We want partnership.”

Zambia’s slide into poverty began after world copper prices fell in the 1970s. Since then, the economy has become somewhat more diversified, even as the price of copper has climbed.

The government began privatizing the copper industry in the 1990s. Copper contributed 75 percent of the GDP in 2002 but only about 45 percent last year, said Mutati.

Asked about the political and economic crisis in neighboring Zimbabwe, Mwanawasa called the situation “extremely worrying” but added that economic sanctions will not help.

He threatened to boycott a European-African summit meeting in December if Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe was excluded, saying Western leaders must be willing to talk to the leader widely considered an international pariah.

The chaos in Zimbabwe has choked off tourism, diverting more visitors to Zambia to see Victoria Falls, the spectacular milewide waterfall on the border between the two countries.

With room for only about 1,500 visitors, hotels in nearby Livingstone can’t cope with the influx, Mutati said. Its tiny airport, which had just a few flights a week three years ago, has 28 flights a week now. Several new hotels are under construction.

While Chinese companies have been criticized for labor practices in Africa, overall the influx of investment from China has been a good thing, Mutati said.

Cautious Western companies have hesitated too long. “They would go on their computers and do spreadsheets about risk,” he said, while “the Chinese make a decision first.”

Chinese have invested $900 million in Zambia for two economic zones focused on copper and agricultural processing, creating 60,000 jobs.

“Now we can see the West is saying we must run to Africa because if China dominates Africa, that sphere of influence can become critical as we go forward,” Mutati said.

Zambia also needs American-style business, said Wamulume Kalabo, chairman of the Zambia Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

U.S. companies tend to hire and train local people, with English as a common language. Chinese companies tend to hire their own citizens to work in Zambia’s mines and manufacturing sites because of the difficulty of communicating.

“The local people are not seeing the benefit initially,” Kalabo said, “because very few of them are being absorbed into the system, and the main reason is the lack of communication.”

Kristi Heim: 206-464-2718 or kheim@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

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September 30th, 2007 

By Momar Visaya/Asianjournal.com  

NEW YORK — World leaders, CEOs, celebrities and scholars gathered for the opening of the third annual Clinton Global Initiative conference. 

Former President Bill Clinton welcomed the participants from 72 countries and the 52 current and former heads of States who made their way across town from the UN General Assembly. “We are faced with problems that the government is not solving, or the government cannot solve alone,” Clinton said. 

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and former US Vice President Al Gore led the opening plenary. They were joined by Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, Walmart President and CEO H. Lee Scott, Jr., Archbishop Emeritus and spiritual leader Desmond Tutu and The World Bank Group President Robert Zeellick. 

Clinton introduced the opening plenary panelists, and prefaced his introduction of President Arroyo. He proudly announced that Arroyo was an old friend and a college classmate at Georgetown University. “We’ve been friends for a long, long time,” Clinton said of Arroyo, “and her country’s economy is on the way up and it’s in a very good shape.” 

The former US president also acknowledged the fact that the Philippines “had its fair share of internal conflict brought about by differences in ideology and religion” and asked Arroyo how her government is trying to promote reconciliation in the country. 

“We have developed a paradigm for peace in Mindanao using both soft and hard power,” Arroyo remarked. Soft power, she explained, is about development, while hard power focused on military efforts to attain peace. 

“We do it through interfaith dialogues to promote lasting peace and political stability in our country,” Arroyo said, and explained that her government has been exerting efforts to deepen understanding among various faiths and cultures particularly in parts of Mindanao. 

The annual meeting is the epicenter for global philanthropy and the forum for people who want to get involved and to make a difference. “We’re here because the world is bedeviled by growing inequality. We’re here because we accept our shared responsibility for correcting our problems and we’re here because we believe we can make a difference,” Clinton said. 

The conference is focused on finding ways to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems such as lack of education, poverty alleviation, global health, energy and climate change. Among the notable attendees were former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, celebrity couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, tennis star Andre Agassi and media mogul Rupert Murdoch. 

Former Vice President Gore brought in more passion to the plenary by sharing his thoughts and ideas about how the world needs more action, rather than talk. “The US has to lead the world in solving this climate crisis and I challenge President Bush to take that step,” Gore said, “The effort to solve the climate crisis is the key to solving other problems.” 

On the other hand, Archbishop Desmond Tutu brought in the lighter side, nonetheless thought-provoking. “Someone in San Francisco approached me and said, ‘Archbishop Mandela!’,” he said laughing, “two for the price of one.” 

Clinton introduced Tutu, saying that he had one of the best one-liners at the conference last year. The archbishop likened religion to a knife. “You can use it to slice bread, which is good, or you can also use it to slice off your neighbor’s arm, which is bad,” he said. 

Arroyo said that terrorists use religion to cause warfare and that something must be done in order to promote more understanding. President Karzai summed it up, saying that it is the “misuse of religion for political purposes that creates the problems.”

In her closing remark, Arroyo thanked Clinton for the opportunity to share to the world that the Philippines had a 7.5% growth rate in the last quarter. 

The last remark, from Desmond Tutu, capped the opening plenary. “How about us helping God realize His utopian dream? God dreams that we could all live in harmony as members of one family – the gays, the lesbians, the so-called straight…,” he said, as he was cut-off by a thunderous applause, and as the camera panned to Clinton, the former president remarked smiling, “It’s up right there with the knife comment.”  

Meanwhile, according to Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation, Dr. Mwanawasa urged countries in the west to redeem themselves before criticizing China for giving more aid to Africa.

Speaking when he answered questions from members of staff of the Clinton Global Initiative, the president said governments in the west were often reluctant to finance development projects in Africa. 

Dr. Mwanawasa said Africa and Zambia in particular is in a hurry to develop and China has come out a dependable partner. The President said very soon, China will embark on a $900 million economic zone project on the Copperbelt where over 60,000 people will be employed.  

The president said also said those wishing to help the country develop are most welcome. On the Zimbawean question, Dr. Mwanawasa reiterated that if Mr Robert Mugabe is not invited to the EU/Africa summit scheduled for Portugal in December, then the whole SADC region will not attend.  

He said the SADC member states strongly feel that isolating Mr. Mugabe was not the answer. Dr. Mwanawasa, who is also the SADC chairman, said the leaders in the region were well resolved to continue engaging Mr. Mugabe in dialogue rather than isolating him as the west would rather do.    

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Can Hillary Clinton break the glass ceiling of the American Presidency? This is the trillion dollar question on every one’s mind around the world when it comes to the possibilities she brings to the table towards her nomination. 

Half way through her party’s nomination, it is a foregone conclusion in most quarters that unless something really goes wrong, the former First Lady, and two term Senator from New York (NY) will the in the final run for the White House.  

For 200 years the American Enterprise, the largest human experiment in the history of capitalism and democracy; the only longest known and purported transparent democracy has never had a woman at the helm in its presidency.

And so, this is a genuine question knowing that America has been known for its chauvinist stance for a long time. In fact, most of her detractors usually say that the country may not be ready for a female president. Some say it was easier for Britain’s Margaret Thatcher to become the highest known power figure in England because the monarchy was led by a female, Her Highness Queen Elizabeth II. 

But if that logic is flawless, how come another Iron Lady (Margaret Thatcher) has not emerged in England since? Germany was actually thought to be even more closed to women leadership than the US but Angela Merkel, the first woman to become chancellor of Germany continues to impress the world with her cool leadership at two back-to-back summits.  

First, she (Angela Merkel) stuck to her principles, getting G-8 leaders to agree to significant cuts in carbon emissions, among other things. She later corralled European Union countries into an agreement on a treaty to replace the E.U. constitution.  China‘s vice premier, Wu Yi (another woman), continues to help lead a government that oversees an economy whose gross domestic product may soon eclipse Germany’s, making it the third-biggest economy in the world. 

In a historic election, Indian lawmakers recently elected for president the handpicked choice of Sonia Gandhi, leader of India’s most powerful political party, the Indian National Congress Party. Though the position is largely ceremonial, Pratibha Patil, 72, is now India’s first female president. 

Elsewhere on the Indian subcontinent, another woman may soon return to power. Pakistan’s ex-Premier Benazir Bhutto, who was the country’s first female leader, is seeking a deal with President Pervez Musharaff that would allow her to return from exile to stand for election without facing arrest. 

Last year in South America, centre-left candidate Michelle Bachelet became Chile’s first woman president, taking 53.5% of the poll with almost all the votes counted.  Her rival, conservative businessman Sebastian Pinera, admitted defeat.   

Over at the United Nations, Dr. Asha-Rose Migiro of Tanzania took office as deputy secretary-general, becoming the first African woman to assume the No. 2 spot at the international organization. With a broad mandate to expand the voice of the developing world, Migiro has the bona fides, having served as Tanzania’s first female foreign minister. 

More firsts may be on the way. In Argentina, it’s expected that Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, first lady and senator, will run for president after her husband leaves the job in October. In Guatemala, activist and 1992 Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchu has announced she will form an indigenous political party and run for president.  

And Ukraine’s Yulia Tymoshenko, is on the comeback trail, aiming to become the first woman to regain her country’s prime ministership in this fall’s parliamentary elections.  Meanwhile, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has been sworn in as Liberia’s president, making her Africa’s first elected female leader. 

With all polls showing her in the lead both for her party nomination and the presidential elections to be held in November 2008, it is just a matter of time before we actually see the First Madame President and the First Gentleman (Bill Clinton) with reverse roles back at the White House, now that’s this week’s “Editorial Opinion” from the Zambian Chronicle … thanks a trillion.

Brainwave R Mumba, Sr.

CEO & President – Zambian Chronicle

Copyrights © 2007 Zambian Chronicle. All rights reserved. Zambian Chronicle content may not be stored except for personal, non-commercial use. Republication and redissemination of Zambian Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Zambian Chronicle. Zambian Chronicle shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, interruptions or delays in connection with the Zambian Chronicle content or from any damages arising therefrom.

Zambian Chronicle is a wholly owned subsidiary of Microplus Holdings International, Inc.

Copyrights © 2007 Microplus Holdings Int., Inc.

He finally jetted in Friday afternoon and Zambia had her weekend romance with Bill Clinotn. Upon arrival the former US president toured the warehouse with Philippe Douste-Blazy, chairman of the board of UNITAID, an organization formed last year by France and 19 other nations that have earmarked a portion of their airline tax revenues for efforts to fight HIV/AIDS in developing countries. 

From there he went to a soccer tournament with former President Dr. Kenneth Kaunda. Super Ken went ahead and presented a neckerchief to him; Clinton tore off his red tie Zambia's first president Kenneth Kaunda.and put on a green, red and yellow Boy Scout neckerchief presented to him by KK.  

At the tournament, the crowds and dignitaries were ecstatic as the young lads were having a bowl while as per his usual personality had to merriment them charmingly … “Most of the people in Africa, and in the world, who have the HIV virus … do not know it,” Clinton quizzed.

State House was eagerly waiting and he finally arrived at 14:35 Zambian time on Saturday as Zambian officials vied for photos with him some complimenting him for his leadership … “You were great in office, and you are even greater out of office,” Zambia’s health minister, Brian Chituwo, said in a speech. 

Levy Mwanawas Zambian presidential candidate President Clinton appended his autograph to the State House guest book and had over an hour closed-door meeting with HE Levy P Mwanawasa, SC.  Zambian dignitaries in attendance included Foreign Affairs minister Mundia Sikatana, Zambia’s ambassador to the United States Inonge Mbikusita-Lewanika and other senior government officials. 

After his meeting at State House, President Clinton arrived later on Saturday evening at Arcades Mall around 19:30 for an unannouced dinner. Shoppers were thrilled to see the former leader of the free world and an excitement frenzy enthused. It was a rockstar moment; President Clinton left immediately after dinner.Former US president Bill Clinton (l) talking to the first president of Zambia Dr Kenneth Kaunda at Lusaka Polo Club  on Saturday - Picture by Thomas Nsama

He jetted out this afternoon for Tanzania where he held meetings with political leaders on the mainland and in Zanzibar in an effort to break down the remaining resistance to expanding AIDS initiatives.

Zambia and South Africa fall under the “Procurement Consortium Group” while Malawi and Tanzania are under the “Partnership Group” within the Clinton Global Initiative strategies.

President Clinton is expected back in the United States of America by Tuesday and the Zambian Chronicle wishes him God Speed and a safe trip back home … thanks a trillion. 

Brainwave R Mumba, Sr.

CEO & President – Zambian Chronicle

Copyrights © 2007 Zambian Chronicle. All rights reserved. Zambian Chronicle content may not be stored except for personal, non-commercial use. Republication and redissemination of Zambian Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Zambian Chronicle. Zambian Chronicle shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, interruptions or delays in connection with the Zambian Chronicle content or from any damages arising therefrom.

Zambian Chronicle is a wholly owned subsidiary of Microplus Holdings International, Inc.

Copyrights © 2007 Microplus Holdings Int., Inc.           

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Barely two weeks since the current US First Lady Laura Bush visited the Zambian Enterprise, Bill Clinton jets in … Former US President William Jefferson Clinton will be in Zambia tomorrow, Friday July 20th, 2007.

He arrived in Johannesburg this Wednesday via the Dominican Republic to start his second African tour … this will be his first ever visit to Zambia and we hope he would find it memorably nolstagic compared to any African nation he has ever visited.

While in Johannesburg, he met President Mbeki and spent time at the city hall where he met with Johannesburg city officials, who are implementing the Clinton Climate Initiative’s Energy Efficiency Building Retrofit Programme. 

He will be in Malawi earlier and will hold a closed-door meeting with President Bingu wa Mutharika at the New State House in Lilongwe for 30 minutes. His entourage will then visit the construction site of a rural hospital established by the Clinton-Hunter Development Initiative and Partners in Health.  

President Clinton last year partnered with Scottish philanthropist Tom Hunter and unveiled  two plans to initiate rural growth centres in Malawi. He jets into Zambia Friday afternoon and will attend a youth outreach soccer tournament hosted by local leaders to appeal to young people in Zambia about the importance of HIV/AIDS testing. 

After spending the early part of this coming weekend in Zambia, he will fly to Tanzania on Sunday and is expected back in the United States of America by Tuesday next week. The 42nd president is largely viewed as the ‘first black president’ of America because of his closeness to causes of African Americans and his interest in developing Africa.

The Zambian Chronicle wishes the former US President a memorable stay and God Speed as he enjoys Zambian hospitality while he conducts his business within the Enterprise – Zambia The Beautiful … thanks a trillion. 

Brainwave R Mumba, Sr.

CEO & President – Zambian Chronicle

Copyrights © 2007 Zambian Chronicle. All rights reserved. Zambian Chronicle content may not be stored except for personal, non-commercial use. Republication and redissemination of Zambian Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Zambian Chronicle. Zambian Chronicle shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, interruptions or delays in connection with the Zambian Chronicle content or from any damages arising therefrom.

Zambian Chronicle is a wholly owned subsidiary of Microplus Holdings International, Inc.

Copyrights © 2007 Microplus Holdings Int., Inc.