1998 NCC News Archives

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NCC Head Visits South Africa with Clinton Delegation

NEW YORK, March 25, 1998 ---- The Rev. Dr. Joan Brown Campbell, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches (NCC), is part of a high-level delegation accompanying President Clinton on March 25-29 for the South Africa portion of his historic visit to Africa.

"I hope that the President’s visit will increase the understanding of the people of this country about the importance of Africa to the United States, not just economically but theologically," Dr. Campbell said. "When we dream of a global human community where peace and justice are possible, Africa is essential to the realization of that dream."

Dr. Campbell will be part of the congressional and citizens delegation accompanying President Clinton which includes business and civic leaders. Among them are Kweisi Mfume, President of the NAACP; John Sweeney, President of the AFL-CIO; the Honorable Wellington Webb, Mayor of the City and County of Denver, Colo., and Carl Ware, President of the Africa Group for Coca Cola.

The five-day visit will include Cape Town and Johannesburg. Events include a tour of Robben Island, President Clinton’s address to the South African Parliament, a commerce luncheon in Cape Town, a state dinner at the Vergellen Wine Estate and the inauguration of the Ron Brown Commercial Center in Johannesburg. On Sunday, Dr. Campbell will attend church with President and Mrs. Clinton in Soweto. The Rev. Jesse Jackson is scheduled to preach at that service.

Members of the President’s cabinet, ambassadors to African countries and other governmental officials are traveling with the President on the 10-day trip to Ghana, Uganda, Rwanda, South Africa, Botswana and Senegal.

This trip marks the first time a U.S. President has made an extended trip to Africa. In a press briefing held March 20, National Security Advisor Sandy Berger explained that "one of the overriding goals of this trip is to help Americans rethink Africa, and Africans rethink America."

-end-

Writer: Wendy S. McDowell

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