Louise Mushikiwabo, Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs has refuted an assertion that through the ongoing Forum on China-Africa Cooperation the Chinese are scaling up a neocolonial plot.
The Minister was exclusively speaking to a Chinese overseas broadcaster channel CGTN. She shared her thoughts on how China and Africa are forming a new model of south-south cooperation.
CGTN: Is the China-Africa cooperation Forum able to help Rwanda further development and how?
Lousie Mushikiwabo: Absolutely. It is a very important forum for China and Africa to work together in an organized and ambitious way. This is very important for Rwanda.
We are working with China in the area of mining- particularly in Rwanda, in the exploration phase we are using Chinese expertise and there are many good things happening in terms of economic cooperation, boosting our agriculture and infrastructure sector.
CGTN: We know that Rwanda is the current chair for the African Union and has been pushing for its reforms. How can we combine the AU development plans with that of the forum.
Mushikiwabo: We are already doing that, as we plan for the coming phase of FOCAC 2019 and 2021, we continue to bring the two documents closer and making sure that what we do in the FOCAC platform is part of our bigger development agenda 2063.
Does the FOCAC represent a new model of the south-south cooperation or is it a neocolonial plot?
Mushikiwabo: What china does that is quite unusual with our other partners is that china goes with the plans of the countries its dealing with. China does not impose any working methods, china does not impose areas of acitivity . China comes in to supplement and to support what the host countries are doing.
FOCAC and other bilateral activities between china and Africa can only be benefitial to Africa and to China.
Meanwhile, in late July China and Rwanda signed 15 bilateral agreements during President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Rwanda.
Bilateral ties are expected to go further as Rwandan President Paul Kagame is visiting Beijing for the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.