Seven African leaders signed a commitment Wednesday with President Clinton to deepen respect for human rights as the "birthright of all men and women."
"The leaders who have come to Entebbe today share a common vision of a bright future for this region," Clinton said at the Summit for Peace and Properity. "We seek to deepen the progress that has been made and to meet the tough challenges that remain."Two of the leaders, Congo President Laurent Kabila and Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi, have been criticized by the Clinton administration for human rights abuses and for not making democratic reforms.
Clinton said the leaders agreed to work to banish genocide from the continent and bring murderers to justice.
"Every child has the right to grow up in peace," he said.
Clinton promoted revival of an Africa-based peacekeeping force that was suggested by the United States more than a year ago, but initially rejected by African leaders who wanted more say in how it would work.
"We can help this continent reach its full potential in the 21st century," Clinton said in remarks following the three-hour meeting. "We can be a force for good together, and all our nations can be proud."
The president said he wanted to see Africa's economic potential unleashed.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, the host of the summit, agreed that it is time his impoverished continent joined the global economy.
People outside of Africa think "Africa is not central to the world economy," Museveni said. "In fact, Africa is central to the world economy. Africa is the center of the world."
At the summit, Clinton met with the presidents of Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Congo, Tanzania and the prime minister of Ethiopia and the finance minister of Zimbabwe, representing the Organization for African Unity.
Clinton, on a 12-day tour of six African nations, said he wanted to work more closely with leaders on the continent to improve security, trade, human rights and democracy. The American president's vision of a new relationship with Africa - based on commerce rather than economic aid - has been embraced by Africans.
Clinton met earlier in the day in Rwanda with survivors of the 1994 genocide that killed up to 1 million people. He was encouraging regional cooperation to prevent future massacres on the conflict-torn continent.
"We hope the effort can be a model for all the world, because our sacred task is to work to banish this greatest crime against humanity," he said in Kigali.
The summit was a friendly gathering. Despite U.S. concerns about human rights and democratic failings in Kenya and Congo.