Mutharika jets back in Malawi, lauds US-Africa summit as China warns White House

Malawi President Peter Mutharika on Sunday returned from  United States where he attended  first ever US-Africa summit  in Washington  describing it a “success” as Chinese media point out that the US is “playing catch-up” in Africa.

President Mutharika told journalists at Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe upon arrival, saying the country has benefited a lot for attending the Summit.

“The summit was a successful one as Malawi has benefited a lot in terms of lobbying foreign investments as well as bilateral relationships with other countries,” said Mutharika who  was welcomed by Vice President Saulosi Chilima and Cabinet Ministers.

I'm back: Mutharika on arrival.-Photo by Mana
I’m back: Mutharika on arrival.-Photo by Mana
Welcomes back APM
Welcomes back APM.-Photo by Mana
President Mutharika being welcomed by vice president Chilima
President Mutharika being welcomed by vice president Chilima.- Photo by Mana

The President said he will address a news conference  on Tuesday, 12 August, 2014 at Kamuzu Palace where he will read out the communique and explain in detail what transpired during meeting.

The meeting was attended by some 40 African leaders. US President Barack Obama hailed a new emerging Africa, while US firms pledged $37bn (£33bn) in investment during the meeting.

Newspapers in China have since warned  the White House not to “monopolise” the African continent.

The Global Times observes that the US is now “seemingly following in China’s footsteps”.

The paper says that China has “no wild ambitions on the African continent” and adds that Beijing “does not feel threatened” by the “warming US-African ties”.

“The whole world has to admit that China has been the biggest boost in shifting global attention back to Africa. Without China’s rapidly growing co-operation with Africa, many Western countries would probably still be dismissing Africa’s massive potential,” says the paper.

He Wenping, an expert on African affairs, tells the Chinese edition of the paper that the US should not monopolise the African market.

“It will not benefit the development of Africa and Beijing-Washington ties if the US… engages in a malignant competition with China,” says the pundit.

An article in the state-run China Net points out that Washington’s intention is to use the summit to compete more successfully with countries like China, India and Japan that have already set foot in the continent.

It says that the US is trying to transform itself from an aid provider to an economic partner, and to “position itself as the big brother in African economic development”. China Net warns, however, that no one should try to “conquer” the continent.—(Additional reporting by BBC)

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