BUSINESS Chinese companies using majority of African workers in Africa


Chinese companies using majority of African workers in Africa

16:26, April 08, 2021

Workers of China Railway 20th Bureau Group Corp receive on-site safety training for a railroad project in Mozambique in September 2019. (Photo: China Daily)

Chinese construction companies provide large numbers of employment opportunities in Africa, said a report titled "Chinese firms and African labor are building Africa's infrastructure" in Washington Post on Friday.

The report answered concerns on China's employment practices for large infrastructure projects in Africa.

The report, citing a number of scholars' research and consultancy's survey, showed Chinese companies involved in Africa's infrastructure projects hire more African workers than Chinese expatriates.

For example, 90 percent of employees in Ethiopia and 74 percent of the Angolan workforce for Chinese companies were Ethiopians and Angolans, respectively, during 2016 to 2017, according to SOAS University of London survey of 37 firms working in Angola and 40 companies in Ethiopia.

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology said African workers accounted for 85 percent among 400 Chinese companies they surveyed in Africa.

Moreover, a 2017 McKinsey report said African employees made up 89 percent of the firms' combined workforce based on a survey of 1,000 Chinese firms and factories in eight African countries.

Hiring Chinese expatriates has become increasingly expensive such as higher wages and better living conditions, leading the Chinese companies to hire more local employees, said the report.

The report also pointed out that foreign companies including Chinese, European and American enterprises in Africa prefer filling management posts with their own people due to a lack of trained local employees with appropriate skill sets.

The African governments and other stakeholders should educate the local employees in skills to seek higher-paying management and technical positions, the report suggested.

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