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Office of the First Lady

For Immediate Release March 11, 1997
                           MARCH 15-30, 1997

First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton will travel to Africa from March 15-30, 1997. Mrs. Clinton's goodwill trip will underscore the United States' commitment to continued active engagement with the continent and highlight the progress of democracy in the countries she will visit. The First Lady has been asked by the President and the Department of State to make the trip.

She hopes her visit will underscore the importance of democracy and human rights; women's empowerment and social investments in areas such as education, health care (including fighting AIDS), and microenterprise; and our collective commitment to the survival and well-being of children. Mrs. Clinton also hopes to focus attention on the effectiveness of the United States Agency for International Development and other international development efforts in the region.

Among the First Lady's planned stops and activities are:

     --Goree Island in Senegal, a hub of much of the African slave trade
     --Saam Njaay Village, in Senegal where grass-roots efforts are
underway to train citizens about the institutions of democracy
     --A tour of projects in Soweto, South Africa that are bringing new
opportunities for the people of the township
     --A tree-planting with Archbishop Desmond Tutu symbolizing the
nation's path to reconciliation
     --A speech at the University of Capetown on South Africa's efforts

to build a multi-racial democracy and the importance of South Africa to the United States

--A visit with Nelson Mandela to Robben Island, the former prison where President Mandela and many other South African activists were jailed during apartheid

--Projects in Zimbabwe devoted to microenterprise and family planning

--A discussion with Justice Louise Arbor and others at the UN War Crimes Tribunal in Arusha, Tanzania on the impact of genocide and rape as a war crime

     --Programs focusing on AIDS prevention and education in Uganda
     --A speech in Uganda on the economic, political and social

progress in the region and U.S. efforts to support democracy, civil society and social investment in Africa

--A visit to Africa's newest country, Eritrea.

As on all of her foreign travels, Mrs. Clinton will participate in round-table discussions with prominent women from the region and non-governmental organizations that are instrumental in helping to build civil society. She will pay courtesy calls to prominent government officials.

This will mark the First Lady's ninth solo trip outside of the United States. Since 1993, she has addressed the United Nations World Summit for Social Development in Copenhagen, the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, led the United States' delegation to the Winter Olympics in Norway, spoken about democracy and civil society at the Radio Free Europe headquarters in Prague, and traveled on behalf of the United States to South Asia, Latin America, and Europe.