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AWF President Michael Wright was among experts from several conservation organizations invited to brief White House officials on environmental and food-security issues in Africa prior to President Clinton's landmark trip to the continent in late March.

The thrust of the discussion, Wright said, revolved around advancing sustainable use of Africa's land, water and vast natural resources and bolstering the capacity of African institutions to cope effectively with these concerns. The briefers stressed that conservation of wildlife and their habitats is most likely to succeed if local communities are engaged in such efforts and derive economic benefits from them.

Clinton's tour took him to Ghana, Uganda, Rwanda, South Africa and Senegal. During a visit in Botswana he went on a photo safari in Chobe.

Clinton's Africa visit came a year after Hillary Rodham Clinton and her daughter Chelsea traveled to the continent. At the time Patrick Bergin, executive officer of the AWF Community Conservation Service Center, briefed them on AWF's programs in Tanzania.