Clinton warns against "new colonialism" in Africa

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 13, 2011 11:53 PM
Clinton warns against "new colonialism" in Africa

LUSAKA (Reuters) - Africa must beware of "new colonialism" as China expands ties there and focus instead on partners able to help build economic capacity on the continent, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Saturday.

Clinton, asked in a television interview in Zambia about China's rising influence on the continent, said 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 a television interview in Lusaka, the 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," she said. "We don't want them to undermine good governance in Africa."

Clinton, appearing on the televised "Africa 360" program in Lusaka on Saturday, said African states could learn much from Asia on how governments can 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, pointing to friction over Chinese efforts to control the Internet as one example. "There are more lessons to learn from the United States and democracies," Clinton said.

Her trip, which also takes her to Tanzania and Ethiopia, is meant to highlight the Obama administration's drive to help African countries meet challenges ranging from HIV/AIDS to food security and speed up often impressive economic growth.

She has repeatedly drawn comparisons with China, which pumped almost $10 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.

(Reporting by Andrew Quinn; editing by Mark Heinrich)