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Kagame lauds China

BERLIN, Oct 12 – Rwandan President Paul Kagame Sunday defended China’s programme of investment in developing African countries, while slamming Western nations and firms for polluting the continent.

"The Chinese bring what Africa needs: investment and money for governments and companies. China is investing in infrastructure and building roads," said Kagame in an interview with German daily Handelsblatt to appear on Monday.

In contrast, the West’s involvement "has not brought Africa forward," the president was quoted as saying.

"Western firms have to a large extent polluted Africa and they are still doing it. Think of the dumping of nuclear waste in the Ivory Coast or the fact that Somalia is being used as a rubbish bin by European firms," he added.

Kagame called for a reorientation of development aid towards investment.

"I would prefer the Western world to invest in Africa rather than handing out development aid.

"There is a need for help — but it should be implemented in such a way as to enable trade and build up companies," he added.

"In addition, it would help Africa much more if industrialised countries allowed us the same trade rights as they give to each other," he said.

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In May, China announced it was boosting its state-run Africa investment fund by two billion dollars (1.36 billion euros).

Since its launch in 2006, the China-Africa Development Fund has invested some 400 million dollars in the continent.

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