US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Sunday challenged Malawians to be the driver of their own change, saying that is where the country’s future lies.

Speaking at Lilongwe Girls Secondary School when she visited a girls’ camp, Mrs. Clinton said this is why her government believes in investing in people so they can be their own change.

“When I think of your future here in Malawi, I want you to know that America is your partner. We believe strongly in the human potential of Malawi because after all these are the greatest treasure every country has,” said Clinton.

America’s strategy for Africa is in sharp contrast to its main competitor China whose economic influence in Africa is visible through its provision of infrastructure.

Mrs. Hillary Clinton’s African tour which began on July 31 focuses on three main things; terrorism, Chinese economic development in Africa and democracy.

In Malawi, Mrs. Clinton held talks with President Banda and also visited two projects being championed by the US government.

One such project was what is called Camp Glow Malawi where sixty girls from various secondary schools in Malawi were being trained on building self esteem and confidence among others.

On the camp, Mrs. Clinton said it is very important for the girls to gather and discuss issues that affect them.

“The promise of the slogans, curriculum and efforts here at the camp is to endow the girls with the understanding of their own talents, opportunities and aspirations,” said Clinton.

Speaking on behalf of her fellow campers, 16 year old Anna Nkhata said Camp Glow Malawi, initiated by Peace Corp Volunteers, is turning them into responsible citizens.

“As young women in Malawi we are working hard to build a good future for ourselves, our families, our country and our world. We are proud to be young women striving for equal rights,” said Nkhata

Mrs. Clinton’s speech also touched democracy where she hailed Malawi for the smooth transition of power following the death of President Bingu wa Mutharika.

On a lighter note, bees that thronged Kamuzu International Airport caused panic among the Americans and some government officials as the US envoy left the country.

Mrs. Clinton had to quickly board her plane to avoid any stings. At exactly, 16:39 the plane carrying Mrs. Clinton left Kamuzu International Airport for South Africa.

She will also visit Nigeria and Benin

Mrs. Clinton will finish her Africa tour in Ghana on August 10, where she will attend the state funeral of Ghana’s late president John Atta Mills who died on July 24.

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