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Rwandan President Praises China, is Critical of West in Africa


Rwandan President Praises China, is Critical of West in Africa
Rwandan President Praises China, is Critical of West in Africa
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Rwandan President Paul Kagame is defending China's investments in Africa, saying the Chinese are developing the continent while Western companies spread pollution.

In an interview with the German newspaper Handelsblatt published Monday, Mr. Kagame said China gives African countries the investment they need, helping to build infrastructure and roads.

He said in contrast, Western firms have "polluted Africa to a large extent." He specifically mentioned the dumping of toxic waste in Ivory Coast three years ago, and accused European companies of dumping garbage in Somalia.

China has poured tens of billions of dollars into Africa over the past decade, as it seeks raw materials and markets for its economy.

Some human rights groups say Beijing has ignored human rights issues in dealing with countries like Sudan, a major Chinese oil supplier.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes in Sudan's Darfur region.

In the interview, the Rwandan president said he would prefer Western countries to invest in Africa rather than handing out development aid.

Mr. Kagame said there is a need for aid, but said it should be used to enable trade and build up companies.

Chinese Investment

China, the world's second-largest consumer of oil, is apparently also seeking petroleum investments in the West African nations of Ghana and Guinea to help fuel its fast-growing economy.

The Wall Street Journal quotes unnamed sources who say the China National Offshore Oil Corporation is in talks with the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation over a bid to rival a multi-billion dollar offer placed by Exxon.

Ghana will become West Africa's newest oil exporter when output begins at a field discovered in 2007.

The Financial Times reports Guinea's government is in talks with the China International Fund on oil and mineral deals that could be worth billions of dollars.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.