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  • Chinese-owned businesses are trending in African economies

    Chinese-owned businesses are trending in African economies

    Africa almost had a brush with the recession and managed to avoid it despite the continent being hit by global economic and financial catastrophe with only a minimal growth in 2009, saving it by a hairline of growth of 2.5%. But most affected by the international economic disaster is southern Africa, as that area of the continent heavily depends on exports. Fortunately, the African Development Bank forecasted a GDP growth for Africa, going along with the global economic recovery.

    But things are looking up for eight African countries, namely, Angola, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia. Having been graced by the presence of at least 10,000 Chinese businesses which are believed to be active in Africa, a huge improvement from decades ago when Africa was being avoided by foreign investors due to corruption and political turmoil. According to a McKinsey report, China has become Africa’s most important economic partner in terms of trade, investment and financing. In fact, the trade between the two has seen growth pegged at 20% annually. Across eight countries, it was found that there were almost 4 times more Chinese firms than the pan-African data-base of Chinese firms suggested, with 90% of the firms privately owned.

    About 89% of the labour force of Chinese companies are African, which is estimated at 300,000 jobs for African workers. This means that there is a multitude of Africans employed by these Chinese-owned businesses. Companies needing skills in construction and manufacturing offer training to employees. However, as any business would have, there have been reports that labour and environmental laws are being violated by businesses owned by these Chinese investors. Inhumane working conditions and illegal extraction of natural resources are some of the violations, to name a few.

    Despite the violations, it cannot be denied that Chinese industries are aggressively placing themselves into African countries, producing hundreds of thousands of jobs for African workers.

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