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Africa: Kagame – China’s Donation to AU HQ Symptom of Continent’s Bigger Problems

Rwanda president Paul Kagame has said China’s donation to Africa – the new headquarters worth $200 million unveiled last week is a reflection of Africa’s bigger problems.

He was speaking at his monthly press conference in Kigali on Thursday.

Kagame said while the Chinese donation is a welcome gift, African countries should focus on working towards economic independency that allows them to be in charge of their own affairs.

“China donated this to the continent for the use of the Continent – but it is very pathetic …the continent of Africa is very rich in terms of all kinds of resources and Africa being where it is today is a problem. May be you can see it in terms of this donation but the problem is much bigger than that..,” President Kagame said.

Unveiled in the Ethiopian capital – Addis Abbaba last week, the brown marble and glass monolith building was fully paid for by China government including office furniture.

Critics argue that the donation reflects not only reflects Africa’s inability to handle its development agenda but also say China could use it to gain greater access to Africa’s resources.

“That ( the building) is only a symptom of a much bigger problem – the problem being that Africa in my view should not be where it is today.

We need to find a way out of this – Africa we need to work hard, be smart in many ways and do things in such way that will get us out of this situation,” Mr Kagame said.

Mr Kagame further argued that for the continent to be in-charge of its affairs, it must achieve the necessary social and economic transformation from its current state.

He specifically referred to NATO involvement in the Libyan conflict as failure of the country’s leadership to address its internal issues and respond to the needs of its people.

” If we do not deal with the other issues of capacity, how we can grow our economies, work together how can we strengthen ourselves so that we can are ones to deal with our problems and speak with one voice in defence of our rights as a nation as a continent , you will continue to have these problems. We should also be able to build our resistance in relation to how well we get things done in our countries – we need to do more of the right thing … and this gives us the strength to fight any external meddling.”
Berna Namata | 2 February 2012| The Eastafrican


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