Africa is duty bound to realise it needs to put across its specific conditions when striking transactions with China, Zimbabwe’s deputy prime minister said on Wednesday.
Arthur Mutambara urged the continent to cease to always accuse Beijing, apartheid or colonialism for its distresses.
Mutambara said it is about time that Africa puts an end to always taking a “romantic view” of China because it has developed from a “comrade in poverty” to an international enterprise and economic behemoth.
“Why are we not making sure the engagement with China is on our terms, as Africans? Labour, skills, technology, value addition,” AFP quoted him as telling delegates at a China-Africa conference.
“The Chinese must come to Africa on African terms. The terms that will allow the Chinese to make money but the terms that will also allow Africa to develop, win-win. China wins, Africa wins.”
He declared that Africa now had been unregimented for many decades and it should not degenerate into trying to find excuses all the time for its sluggish development.
“Africans must not blame China or any other power for that matter. We must take charge of our lives, we must take responsibility for our problems and solve them,” he reportedly told delegates at the conference.
“Yes there are things we can trace back to apartheid, to colonialism, but we must take charge of our lives and not justify incompetence by talking about apartheid, colonialism.”
AFP reported that South Africa has lately been embroiled in a fierce debate on whether – 19 years on – apartheid can still be blamed for current government policy shortcomings.