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Africa needs to develop synergy of global partners for best interests

By Rahul Venkit (Xinhua)

07:59, August 22, 2012

BRUSSELS, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- As Africa is poised to become a more significant player in world economy, it needs to develop a synergy between global partners to serve its own best interests, analysts here say.

Commenting on the recent controversial remarks by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her African tour, the experts say little can be achieved by pitting the Western and Chinese approach in Africa against one another.

"From an African perspective, the question is not really about whether to prefer Western or other partners, but how to bargain more effectively for a good deal for their countries," Jolyon Ford, senior Africa analyst at Oxford Analytica, told Xinhua.

Ford said international investors are generally finding African governments more assertive in ensuring value for money in major deals, which is a positive trend.

"African governments are under pressure to ensure that investors -- whatever their country -- create local jobs and benefits," he said, adding that surveys in major African countries reveal an overall positive view of China's role in global affairs, and on the continent.

"For Africa, I truly believe there is strong cooperation potential with China and other partners," said Jonathan Holslag, research fellow at the Brussels Institute of Contemporary China Studies.

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