Chinese investment in Africa benefits the community – KBC


China’s economic participation in Africa has been a major attraction, generating debates across the continent, and beyond, more about the impact on Africa.

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Others see this participation as an act of solidarity that gives African countries and their people the opportunity to create jobs, increase trade, and expand their manufacturing capacity and thus benefit local communities.

Critics, however, have a different view, describing China as a growing force that seeks to exploit African people and their resources for its own benefit.

Undoubtedly, however, is the fact that Chinese investment in Africa has grown significantly over the past few years. And if the results of a recent study released by SOAS University of London are anything to go by, then Chinese participation in Africa has been of great economic benefit to local communities.

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According to a study by the institute, Chinese construction companies currently offer the largest number of employment opportunities in Africa. In a report titled “Chinese companies and African workers build African infrastructure”, SOAS University in London found that Chinese companies involved in African infrastructure projects employ more African workers than Chinese immigrants.

“In terms of job creation and the national workforce in the workforce, we find that the localization of labor standards is much higher than is commonly thought in the media.” The researchers noted in the report.

The report further revealed that the researchers had found evidence that the Chinese companies that were sampled contribute to training and skills development at least like other companies in the same sector, but it was in the manufacturing and infrastructure sectors where training was more widespread. important for companies.

Researchers cited the example of Ethiopia and Angola where these rates have grown significantly in the last 10 years when Chinese companies occupied the two countries. In fact, with many contractors in their construction industry being Chinese, they have been the main contributors to creating the perfect work.

Add this to McKinsey’s report, also released recently, which revealed that African employees made up 89 percent of Chinese company employees. These findings were based on a survey of 1,000 Chinese companies and factories spread across the continent.

These reports confirm China’s mission to Africa. It provides a particularly brief response to concerns about East Asian employment practices for major infrastructure projects that its companies have been operating on the continent.

This is especially true for these companies, hiring Chinese immigrants has become more expensive due to higher wage demands and better living conditions.

“Given the rising standards of living and work in China, many Chinese companies consider it more profitable to bring Chinese workers to projects in Africa because foreign workers expect more,” the report said.

The case must also be made for these companies who prefer to have their own people in management positions. It shows a lack of a sufficient number of trained domestic workers and skill sets in Africa. The few who have progressed in their studies have held their positions in the top positions of these companies.

This is not just about Chinese companies; The report cites a similar situation in European and American companies operating in Africa.

This suggests that when all factors are taken into account, then no matter where the investment comes from, it is unlikely that this will affect the remuneration of employees.

It means that African governments and other stakeholders need to invest more in training their people to gain the necessary skills for management and technical responsibilities. Both reports also relate to this.

It should also be noted that many employees employed by Chinese companies (Especially in the construction industry) have their own housing and food supplied by the companies they work for. These workers are able to save more from their salaries than employees employed in other companies, who leave workplaces where the cost of living is high.

“In Angola and Ethiopia, even low-skilled paid workers receive wages that are above the level of extreme international poverty. In Angola, all workers receive wages that are below the minimum wage for the sector and a large number of workers earn the best minimum wage.A report released in early April said

To address the issue of severe skills shortages in Kenya for example, the contribution of Chinese companies in improving skills, whether formal or informal, is unquestionable. Many of these companies teach jobs even though a good number of Kenyan students benefit from funding from the Chinese government to further their studies. This is being imitated in many African countries.

There is no doubt that the origins of Chinese investment in this continent are one that provides tangible benefits to the local population. Their participation contributes to the fight against poverty on the continent.

In addition, infrastructure projects benefit ordinary citizens by opening up the region, thereby increasing access to transportation services. This has helped farmers, many of them with little practice, to get their products into the market at a better time than in the past.

Eric Biegon is a Multimedia correspondent with the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, KBC.

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