Early in the year during a Republican debate, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina dropped a classic humblebrag about her frequent-flier status, ostensibly to demonstrate her foreign policy prowess.
Fiorina did not only talk about her travels; the context was to lambast Secretary Hillary Clinton-now Democratic party presidential candidate, use of miles travelled and countries visited as Secretary of State to showcase her geopolitical acumen. Florina did not mince her words:
“unlike Mrs. Clinton, I know flying is an activity, not an accomplishment.”
While the travels may help in establishing essential networks and contacts all over the world, it is imperative to examine the foreign trips recorded by the two presidential candidates in America, relative to Africa.
While Africa is presently dealing with the never ceasing election rigging anchored in doctored poll results, a case in point Gabon, USA election always elicits attention from every African country. It is worth noting that Africans are the fastest growing group of immigrants to America, as per a survey conducted by Pew Research in 2013
While African immigrants to America may not have the same intensity and polarization about the two presidential candidates-Donald Trump on the GOP side and Hillary Clinton on the Democratic party side, only 1% of African Americans, according to polls are backing Donald Trump. That is the worst Republican candidate has fared.
So, just how many times have Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump visited Africa?
No surprise for a guy who owns his own Boeing 757, the Republican frontrunner gets around. And he’s always got a business excuse to wing out of the country — a new golf course in Ireland, a Miss Universe pageant in Panama, casinos and resorts all over the world, yuge, very successful — by now, you surely know the routine.
He has only been to African once; Africa, that big continent in the middle of the world, which includes 54 nations, is apparently not part of the grand vision that Trump’s presidency will be enacting. Which might actually be a good thing, because what little we do know about how Trump looks at Africa would make for tone-deaf, foolish, horrible foreign policy.
Both George W. Bush and Barack Obama as candidates and presidents spoke about engaging with African nations economically, for security purposes and to battle HIV/AIDS. President Bush, rightly or wrongly, was praised extensively for his work to combat AIDS in Africa. He visited the continent twice and spoke out about how Africa was the new battleground against global terror.
President Obama went even further, becoming the first president to host a U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit at the White House in 2014, where he discussed greater economic ties between the U.S. and several African nations, and he followed it up in 2015 by becoming the first American president to deliver a speech to the African Union. In other words, knowing about Africa and having a policy toward the nations there is not a Democratic thing or a Republican thing; it is now to be expected for any legitimate candidate for the office of the presidency
In 2011, even though he wasn’t running for president, Trump was asked by conservative magazine Human Events what a President Trump would do about the rash of Somali pirate attacks off the Horn of Africa.
“I’d wipe them off the face of the earth,” Trump said
In 2013, Donald Trump, then not a candidate and using his favorite tool-Twitter, wrote the following about South Africa; perhaps the only time he has mentioned an African country by name, of course apart from Libya.
Hillary Clinton has logged some serious frequent flier miles.
According to the State Department, the most-traveled Secretary of State in history visited 112 countries during her four-year tenure, traversing 956,733 miles — enough to span the globe more than 38 times — and spending 401 total days on the road. It was enough to earn Clinton the moniker “Secretary of Schlep” by Foreign Policy, while The Atlantic dubbed her the “George Clooney of global affairs.”
Clinton, as Secretary of State, was a regular visitor to Africa. In her book, Hard Choices, she has a few chapters focusing on her trips to Africa and her vision for Africa. We also also learn from the book how she looked up to Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai for her passion and valor in environmental matters.
All told, Secretary Clinton visited 23 African countries. See map below (Ignore Armenia in the Africa column)