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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 9/28/15

Chinese Alice in African wonderland

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Message James Duglous Crickton

Some estimates in Chinese media put the number of Chinese working in Africa at over 750,000. Many of them are entrepreneurs and their ventures range from ice-cream factories in Malawi to massage parlours in Ethiopia and pharmacies in Chad to restaurants in Uganda. "At first the Chinese were welcomed but, slowly, they have become resented; from Namibia in the south to Tanzania in the east and Nigeria in the west, the same complaints are heard, of poor wages, bad working conditions, shoddy products and low quality workmanship", says a blogger on

In recent years, Chinese workers have been kidnaped and killed in Sudan, Ethiopia and Nigeria. The security related concerns do not appear to deter the Chinese who are in Africa for the long haul. In the short to near term itself, African nations have reasons to worry with the flood of Chinese imports; these will undermine local manufacturing base. "China is not in Africa for altruistic reasons. China is in Africa primarily for China", an American diplomat is quoted as summing up the situation.

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A blogger since July 2008 James Duglous Crickton is a London based consultant working with a consultancy firm focusing on Asia, particularly South Asia and East Asia. Political Research is his functional focus area. While his interests are (more...)
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