The CS Monitor has compiled a most noteworthy map of sorts detailing the content of Hilary Clinton's message on her recent trip to Africa. The image accompanies a great piece by CS contributor Tracey Samuelson from which we learn that, well, American politicians quite generally have very little to say to their African counterparts, having instead opted to master the art of recycling messages that have been touted since the 1970s - or thereabouts (Ms. Samuelson does not mention this point; I have noted it here to stress the general absurdity and lack of a U.S. policy towards Africa).
Honestly, what's the point of undertaking an extensive African tour if the message will more or less be the same across the board? Presumably it's much more efficient to go to one country, get all the points out and instruct all other African governments to "See [insert country here] for message."* Based on the CS Monitor's map, a simple trip to Angola would have more or less done the trick:
Now don't misunderstand me, the vast majority of the issues Secretary Clinton brought up are quite worthwhile and indeed applicable in the contexts in which they were raised. Yes, of course we must discuss HIV/AIDS in South Africa and the security crisis in Kenya. And given that Angolan oil exports are of particularly great importance to U.S. strategic interests, the trade terms surrounding them must also enter into discussion. I'm not at all suggesting that her rhetoric was necessarily wrong, only that it was quite generally meaningless and did absolutely nothing to carve out an American policy towards the continent. Blanket statements are fine and dandy for a time, but at a certain point it becomes necessary to delve into the nitty gritty details of policy. Well, we are well beyond that point and seemingly no such efforts are being made - not by the U.S. at least; the Chinese have been on point for quite some time now.
* I am, of course, being completely facetious in suggesting such a thing and strongly favor a much more nuanced U.S. policy towards Africa. Unfortunately, few in State have yet to catch on to this novel idea...