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A stop-by-stop account of Clinton's Africa trip

During her seven-country tour, Clinton highlighted the continent's successes, stressed the work yet to be done, and strengthened US trading alliances.

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Clinton and her counterpart, Foreign Minister Ojo Maduekwe, announced a new binational commission that, among other things, will aim to improve the stability of the oil-rich Niger delta.

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The US supports Nigeria's inclusion in the Group of 20, Clinton also said, but the country first has to tackle its corruption problems, she added.

Liberia

At a luncheon to honor the continent's only female president, Liberia's Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Clinton said, "I will admit it. It's not diplomatic, but I happen to be a fan and a friend of your president."

Thousands lined the streets to greet Clinton in the warmest reception of all her African sojourns.

Despite a seven-year civil war, Liberia has been politically and economically stable since about 2005.

But Clinton did not shy away from the work Liberia has yet to do.

"Liberian people still need jobs, electricity, housing, and education," Clinton said before a joint session of the Liberian National Legislature. "Law enforcement is still inadequate, and after years of war and lawlessness, institutions have been left crippled."

She also noted the need for budgetary oversight and increased governmental transparency.

But she also said, "In just three years, there are encouraging signs of progress."

Cape Verde

That Clinton included Cape Verde, a palm-speckled archipelago and refueling stop for long-distance flights, was a surprise to many.

But it was one last opportunity for her to highlight an example of good governance in Africa, after strong critiques of corruption in many of her previous stops.

"Few places ... demonstrate the promise of Africa better than Cape Verde," Clinton said in a news conference before returning to Washington.

A look ahead

No doubt, Obama's tough-love message for Africa was repeated many a time on Clinton's trip. But what's less certain is what comes next for US involvement in Africa.

"It's one thing for Clinton to make these trips, to acknowledge the significance and importance of Africa in the world," says Kamari Clarke, chair of Yale University's Council on African Studies in New Haven, Conn. But "it will take a lot more than a visit and some handshakes to measure the viability and the extent to which this visit will lead to other, more significant changes in the region."

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