Rwandan president lauds Chinese investment, damns West

By Branko Brkic 13 October 2009

Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame claims Chinese investment in Africa has helped develop governments and local companies, while Western investment has mostly just extracted resources. He said Rwanda and the continent were now looking for investments from nations such as Brazil, India and China on an equal footing. China is building infrastructure across the continent in exchange for access to mineral resources. Kagame was obviously in full anti-Western mode when he said European firms dumped toxic waste in Ivory Coast and used Somalia as a garbage dump. Indeed, Dutch oil and metals trader Trafigura is seeking settlement in a huge class-action suit over dumping of petroleum waste in the Ivory Coast capital, Abidjan. But Kagame might consider that the military junta in Guinea, which brutally put down a recent demonstration against its leader, is negotiating with the Chinese over billions of dollars of infrastructure and minerals projects. The AU has imposed sanctions on Guinea, while the West is making noises about international intervention. But it seems that when it comes to the Chinese, it’s just business as usual.

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