Czech Interior Minister in Rwanda : 'Neglecting Africa was mistake'

Interior Minister Vít Rakušan returns tomorrow from a 10-day trip to three African countries to restart humanitarian and trade relations. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 04.05.2023 12:00:00 (updated on 04.05.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Europe's neglect of Africa was a mistake that has allowed Russia and China to dominate the continent, Czech Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Vít Rakušan said. Rakušan's statements come on the heels of his 10-day visit to Africa.

The trip to Senegal, Ghana, and Rwanda brought political, humanitarian, and economic benefits, and provided opportunities for Czech companies, particularly in the medical and defense industries, he added.

"We left Africa somewhat senselessly some 15 years ago. We gave it to Russia, we gave it to China. Our return is appropriate in order to prevent global phenomena that threaten us all, but at the same time to open it to our entrepreneurs and our humanitarian aid, because helping on the ground means helping effectively," Rakušan told the Czech News Agency (ČTK).

All three African countries represent "the potential for dialogue, democratic development, and long-term partnership for the Czech Republic," Rakušan said. The visit created opportunities for the Czech businessmen who accompanied him on his trip, he added.

"We are bringing specific humanitarian aid, we are helping in the field of medicine, we help save human lives. We have brought in doctors who will operate and help for 10 days straight in the fields of gynecology, surgery, and plastic surgery," Rakušan said.

He was present at the launch of the Czech plastic surgeons' mission in Ghana, and in Senegal, he presented a donation of about CZK 8 million to a local hospital. Czech and Senegalese doctors have chosen what will be purchased so that it meets the needs of the hospital and the patients.

"Senegal is a democratic, friendly, and promising partner of the Czech Republic in West Africa, and it is in our interest to deepen and expand relations with it. The continuation of support for the local healthcare system is therefore an important part of Czech-Senegalese relations," Rakušan said in a press release.

Rakušan will return from his 10-day trip on Friday. He was accompanied by doctors who will stay in Africa as part of the Medevac humanitarian project, 18 businessmen, and some members of Czech parliament.

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