China surely must be interested in a more stable, non-antagonistic relationship with the African continent precisely because of its own needs and therefore has to say: in our own interest, as China, it is necessary that we participate in the process of development of the African continent.
Africa is one continent, one people, and one nation. The notion that in order to have a nation it is necessary for there to be a common language, a common territory and common culture has failed to stand the test of time or the scrutiny of scientific definition of objective reality... The community of economic life is the major feature within a nation, and it is the economy which holds together the people living in a territory. It is on this basis that the new Africans recognise themselves as potentially one nation, whose dominion is the entire African continent.
It is quite easy to understand what China would need from the African continent with regard to its own economy. It will be raw materials, oil, and a market for manufactured goods. It is not difficult to understand that, and it is perfectly legitimate, there is nothing wrong with that.
I am sure it would not be in the long-term interest of China, which would continue to depend on these African resources for a very long time, to see the emergence of any sense of hostility, animosity, tension between itself and the African continent.
As an artist, it's a great opportunity to play a character like this [Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland]. And then, as a person, I had never been to the African continent. So, I knew, personally, it would reshape me.
For centuries, Europeans dominated the African continent. The white man arrogated to himself the right to rule and to be obeyed by the non-white; his mission, he claimed, was to "civilize" Africa. Under this cloak, the Europeans robbed the continent of vast riches and inflicted unimaginable suffering on the African people.
Ethnic differences exist; of course they exist on the African continent. They are not necessarily political differences, however. They don't necessarily cause people to kill each other. They become so-called 'tribalism' when they are politicized in a particular framework. And in post-independence Africa they have been politicized largely by sections of the so-called African elite.
Sport has the power to inspire and unite people. In Africa, soccer enjoys great popularity and has a particular place in the hearts of people. That is why it is so important that the FIFA World Cup will, for the first time ever, be hosted on the African continent in 2010. We feel privileged and humbled that South Africa has been given this singular honour of being the African host country.
I am honoured to be asked to take on this role, especially as it comes at such an integral time for our relationship with South Africa and the African continent. There shall be many new challenges and opportunities ahead and I look forward to embracing them with great anticipation [on becoming the UK's high commissioner to South Africa]