Clinton warns Africa on ‘new colonialism’

2011-06-11 16:42

Africa must beware of “new colonialism” as China expands ties on the continent and focus instead on partners able to help build economic capacity, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said yesterday.

Clinton, asked in a TV interview in Zambia about China’s rising influence in Africa, said that Africans should be wary of friends who only deal with elites.

“We don’t want to see a new colonialism in Africa,” Clinton said in the Zambian capital, Lusaka; her first stop on a five-day Africa tour.

“When people come to Africa to make investments, we want them to do well but also want them to do good.

“We don’t want them to undermine good governance in Africa.”

Clinton, appearing on the televised current affairs show Africa 360, said African states could learn much from Asia on how governments could help support economic growth, but said she did not see Beijing as a political role model.

“We are beginning to see a lot of problems” in China that will intensify over the next 10 years, she said, citing friction over Chinese efforts to control the internet as one example.

“There are more lessons to learn from the United States and (other) democracies,” Clinton said.

Her trip, which also takes her to Tanzania and Ethiopia, aims to highlight President Barack Obama administration’s drive to help African states meet challenges ranging from HIV/Aids to food security as well as speeding up economic growth.

She has repeatedly drawn comparisons with China, which pumped about $10?billion (about R68?billion) in investment into Africa in 2009, and has also seen trade soar as Beijing buys African oil and other raw materials to fuel its booming economy.

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