Monday, November 16, 2009

Chinatown Africa

Angola's rapid reconstruction after 30 years of civil war is literally changing the face of the nation.  Evidence of this is the current presence of over 50,000 Chinese workers in the country.

China has been one of the main financiers of oil-rich Angola's rapid development since the end of the civil war ended in 2002 and  in exchange for loans and aid, estimated to total more than US$4 billion since 2004, China has been guaranteed a generous chunk of Angola's future petroleum production.  The accords also stipulate that 70 percent of the country's development projects be given to Chinese companies, which prefer to import their own workers. 

It is interesting now to see the contrast  and clash of Asian cultures with the harshness of Africa.  Current news in Angola highlights how Angolan gangs are now targeting Chinese workers with 'mafia-style' tactics.  This seems to be an Angolan opportunity to steal from the easy prey of the rich Chinese and as well a backlash against the perception of the Chinese infiltration of the Angolan economy and jobs markets. In Angola, Chinese street sellers are fast putting out of business thousands of locals and Malian sellers who have been there for generations. The fact that many Chinese tend to live in isolation with little or no contact with the local population further aggravates the resentment already present.

Check out this link to a documentary which exposes the influx and influence of China upon the Angolan nation .  "Chinatown Africa"

No comments: