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Friday, April 3, 1998 Published at 05:27 GMT 06:27 UK

Clinton bids Africa farewell

President Clinton addressing the Senegalese crowds

American President Bill Clinton said farewell to Africa at the end of his six-nation tour, pledging to strengthen ties between the continent and the US.

President Clinton says farewell to Africa. Hear the speech in full. (16'11")
Speaking after a visit to Goree Island, off Senegal, Mr Clinton also paid tribute to the role African Americans had played in the life of the US.

"Goree Island is as much a part of our history as a part of Africa's history," he said, referring to the number of Africans who passed through the island as part of the slave trade, on their way to America.

However, as expected, he stopped short of offering an apology for the slave trade.

[ image: Clinton and Senegalese President Abdou Diouf visiting a slaves' prison]
Clinton and Senegalese President Abdou Diouf visiting a slaves' prison
He said: "The long journey of African Americans proves that the spirit can never be enslaved. And that long journey is today embodied by the children of Africans who now lead America in all phases of our common life."

Mr Clinton, who is now back in the United States, said he had seen the future of Africa in the faces of people he met during his 12-day sweep across the world's poorest continent.

"I remain more convinced that when I came here that, despite the daunting challenges, there is an African renaissance," he told his host, Senegal's president, Abdou Diouf, and an audience that included cheering school students.

He said he would never forget the face of Nelson Mandela in his old prison cell on South Africa's Robben Island. The South African president, he said, was "a man who used his suffering to break the shackles of apartheid and now to reach towards reconciliation".

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