UN official calls on Africa to pay attention to China and Brazil

16 April 2007

Praia, Cape Verde, 16 April – The assistant secretary general of the United Nations, Carlos Lopes called on African nations Saturday to be aware of the benefits that the interest Brazil and China have been showing in the continent could have for them.

Lopes, who is also director-general of UNITAR (United Nations Institute for Training and Research), said that Brazil and China have “very specific strategies” in relation to Africa, and careful attention is needed in order to benefit from those two strategies.

Lopes, who was speaking in Praia, the capital of Cape Verde, where he took part in the 33rd General Meeting of the 9100 District of Rotary International, which brought together some 400 delegates in Praia from Western Africa.

During his presentation, entitled “Africa between China and Brazil,” Lopes said that Africans should focus their attention on emerging markets, which are increasingly looking to Africa as a destination for their investments.

According to Lopes, this trend leads to reduced foreign debts to African countries. On the Asian side there was also, he said, demand for African raw materials.

Although relations with Europe and the United States had been developed over a longer period, Lopes said that China and Brazil had a different economic relationship with the continent.

According to Lopes, in the “wrestle” between Brazil and China it is Brazil that is losing some ground in relation to the Asian “giant”. (macauhub)