Clinton in Africa on US trade drive

Monday, 13 June 2011 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

LUSAKA (AFP) : Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Saturday the United States wanted to expand trade with Africa by investing in the continent’s people, warning against a “new colonialism” as China expands its presence.

In Zambia on the first leg of a three-nation African tour, Clinton defended US policies that offer trade benefits to countries that meet standards for democracy and free markets, in an apparent reference to China’s no-strings trade deals.

“Our view is that over the long run, investments in Africa should be sustainable and for the benefit of the African people,” she told South African television.

“When people come to Africa to make investments, we want them to do well, but we also want them to do good. We don’t want them to undermine good governance,” she said. “We don’t want them to basically deal with just top elites, and frankly too often pay for their concessions of their opportunities to invest.” “We don’t want to see a new colonialism in Africa,” she said. “The United States is investing in the people of Zambia, not just the elites.” Clinton also said that she thought China’s top-down command economy was not a model for other developing nations.

“Young people are not going to accept being told what to do,” she said, noting the uprisings across the Middle East.

Zambia’s experience highlights both the benefits and pitfalls of China’s rapidly growing presence across Africa.

Zambia estimates China invested one billion dollars here last year, creating 15,000 jobs. A deal with China’s Zhougui Mining announced in January promises a further five billion dollars in investment in the coming years.

But China’s labour practices have sparked protests, with two Chinese mine managers accused of shooting and wounding 11 miners who were protesting in October against poor working conditions at the Collum Coal Mine.