Africa: West Losing Out to China in Africa, Senegal’s Sall Tells Obama

The West should pay as much attention to Africa as China and other developing economies are doing, Senegal's President Macky Sall told RFI in Washington. Sall was among four African leaders judged democratic enough to meet US President Barack Obama at the White House on Thursday.

"Barack Obama told me very clearly that he was paying great attention to what is going on on the African continent," Sall told RFI's Raphaël Reynes while in the US, adding that the US president congratulated him on Senegal's democratic advances.

But, unusually, Obama did not meet Sall alone but with three other African leaders, Sierra Leone's President Ernest Bai Koroma, Malawai's Joyce Banda and Cape Verdean Prime Minister Jose Maria Neves.

Sall denied that this group reception was in any way frustrating.

He and his fellow leaders were chosen as a "sample of heads of state who have made their mark in promoting good governance and in the struggle for democracy".

But, he said, "I think the agenda is such that Africa in general is not a central preoccupation for world leaders," adding that he had suggested that Obama take a "major initiative, like the Millenium Challenge, which was president [George] Bush's initiative, as, by the way, the Chinese are doing, as the Brics [developing economies] are doing".

Commenting on domestic politics, Sall said he was shocked by allegations of the wealth accumulated by his predecessor, Abdoulaye Wade.

He promised that an inquiry into the fortune of Wade's son, Karim, rumoured to be about a billion euros, would continue, although, "We're not going to spend all our time tracking down ill-gotten gains."



Africa: West Losing Out to China in Africa, Senegal’s Sall Tells Obama