China Gives With A Tea-spoon And Collects In Baskets
Like tsunami, entering all available holes and cracks on its part, Chinese corporations are now present all over Africa. A report by McKinsey and company released in June 2017 estimated that there are more than 10,000 Chinese-owned firms operating in Africa.
The big question is, “what are Chinese corporations doing in Africa?” That of course remains a highly controversial issue. Here is what many are thinking:
That the reason Chinese corporations are in Africa is simply to exploit the people and take their resources. Uprooting and sweeping their path of whatever could be useful to them. This seems not far from the truth at all. The phenomenon can only be compare to what European colonists did during mercantile times in the 18th century.
Africa should probably expect worse. The Chinese corporations are gradually turning Africa into another Chinese continent. Not as if Africa should expect a transformation to compete with China. Rather, the Chinese are squeezing Africa from everything it is worth, from cheap labor to the very smallest of its resources.
Former Zambian politician Michael Sata, before being elected President of Zambia, wrote a paper which said, “European colonial exploitation in comparison to Chinese exploitation appears better, because, even though the commercial exploitation was just as bad, the colonial agents also invested in social and economic infrastructure services. Chinese investment, on the other hand, is focused on taking out of Africa as much as can be taken out, without any regard to the welfare of the local people”.
China’s desperate need for raw materials and energy to power their growing manufacturing capacity, has resulted to all sorts of means to exploit the continent. Chinese cooperations occupy major projects all over Africa. Sad is the fact that for every work done or area visited, there is more exploit of natural resources than the work done.
In the different localities where Chinese cooperations are found, locals have always complained of being poorly treated or insignificantly benefiting from these cooperations. Farmers have cried foul after their farms where destroyed, water polluted from such exploitation activities. Locals only end up as laborers with inhumane working conditions and very little pay.
In recent times, a new means which could be term stealing by trick has emerged. The China coin operating tabletop gambling machine. The small machine has successfully found it’s way in many parts of Africa and Cameroon especially. Popular joints, beer parlors both in towns and villages, nooks and crannies of the country have more than 3 of such machines and sometimes 5 on one spot. The new form of gambling has attracted both the young and old. With 100francs CFA coins inserted in the machine, one is expected to win other coins or lose.
The remaining coin stocked in the machine is later removed by the Chinese operators. Where the coins go to is a big questions on the lips of many. Traders and commercial bike rides complain of the lack or scarcity of the coins.
A police led investigation in the country’s economic capital uncovered that the Chinese operators of these gambling machines transport these coins in containers to China. The coins are transformed into jewelries which are later brought back and sold at very expensive prices.
This makes me have the feeling China gives with a tea-spoon and collects in baskets.