Africa will not accept that it “should just continue to be a source of raw materials” for the rest of the world, the African Union’s Trade Commissioner has told the UK’s BBC.
Albert Muchanga says instead his continent wants a future of “genuine and mutually beneficial relationships” with its trade partners.
It comes as the AU’s chair has been invited to the G7 summit in Japan amid intensifying competition with China for Africa’s natural resources.
With Western powers seeking greater trade links with the continent, there have been visits to a host of African countries in the run-up to the summit from the leaders of France and Germany, as well as the US vice-president.
Japan’s Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida, visited Egypt, Ghana, Kenya and Mozambique at the start of this month as he sought to bolster African support for his efforts to counter Chinese and Russian influence on the continent, as well as in regards to Taiwan and Ukraine.
Speaking in Maputo on 4 May he said, “Many countries of the so-called Global South are hurt and suffering from high food and energy prices. The cause of this issue should be traced to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”
Mr Muchanga welcomes the recognition of Africa’s problems. He says the disruption caused by the Covid pandemic is also to blame for problems that are “multi-dimensional”.
“It’s a recognition of that the North and the South want deeper interdependence, and it’s welcome.”