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US welcomes China's interest in Africa

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-07-04 02:08

NAIROBI - The United States on Wednesday welcomed China's involvement in Africa, terming it as building a partnership with the continent in solving the region's problems.

Speaking in Nairobi during the celebrations to mark the 237th Independence Day of the America, the US Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec said Africa is significantly important to the world and that all countries are encouraged to get involved in the continent.

"Africa is significantly important to the world. All countries are encouraged to get involved to become partners and we are encouraged to see China building prosperity in Africa," Godec said during the celebrations.

"All countries should engage in Africa in an open and transparent manner so as to increase investments within the region, " he added.

China became Africa's largest bilateral trade partner in 2009 with the total volume valued at $198.5 billion dollars in 2012 and it's expected to surpass 380 billion dollars by 2015.

US president Obama wrapped up his week-long trip in Africa on Tuesday. He pledged $7 billion dollars to help combat frequent power blackouts in sub-Saharan Africa. The visit was regarded by many African experts as an attempt to catch up China's increasing presence in Africa.

Obama said at a conference in South Africa that increased Chinese engagement was beneficial for all and that he did not feel threatened by it.

Godec said Kenya and the US shared many wonderful values and that the American President, who has his roots in Kenya, cares great partnership with the country.

"The US and Kenya have enjoyed 50 years of strong partnership. It is a partnership based on mutual respect and understanding. It is a partnership based on the principles we share. Together, we have faced many challenges and we have made much progress. But more remains to be done."

He said the United States will work with Kenyans hand in hand to advance common goals on regional security, health care, education, agriculture, trade, conservation, justice, governance and so many other areas.

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