US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in the tiny Atlantic Ocean archipelago of Cape Verde, the final destination in a seven-nation journey across Africa.
Clinton flew from Liberia to Sal, one of the islands in Cape Verde, where she will meet at a resort hotel on Friday with the Portuguese-speaking nation's prime minister, Jose Maria Neves.
Aides said Clinton chose to spend a night in Cape Verde often only a brief refueling stopover between Africa and North America in a bid to shore up relations with the small but close US ally.
Some half a million Cape Verdeans live in the United States, mostly in the northeastern New England states, roughly equal to the total population still living on the islands.
Cape Verde will be the first nation to complete successfully a loan from the Millennium Challenge Corp, a US government-backed initiative that lends money to nations that respect democracy and good governance, a US official said.
Cape Verde signed a 110-million-dollar deal under the initiative in 2005 to boost its economy, including through infrastructure projects and investment in agriculture.
In a sign of its Western inclination, Cape Verde agreed to be the site in 2006 of NATO exercises.