Reflection of a Chinese Investor in Africa: Guest Post

From China in Africa: The Real Story Sun Feb 10 2013, 13:36:00

This guest post by KF is reproduced with permission from the Comments section of my blog post, Nigerians Protest Conditions at Chinese Construction Project. I welcome other guest posts, particularly from Africans and Chinese with experience in the field.

As Prof. Brautigam noted, there is a huge cultural conflict in terms of work´╝Ćbusiness ethics and expectations towards labour. However, in my experience, after many periods of labour disputes, the companies acclimatise themselves to the locales in which they operate over time.

My parents (retired) had no concept of a holiday and often wondered why businesses closed on Saturdays and Sundays. Understanding they had come to a foreign country to invest, it was natural to them to work all the time. My father (the Bwana) himself would often join in the labour to demonstrate the task or to modify the task to enhance efficiency or complete a more complex task- innovation to African contexts. Even I (still in high school) was drafted into a foreman capacity, secretary, and sales office when the occasion required (all unpaid, of course), while all my expat classmates holidayed in UK or South Africa at their parents' multinational employers' expense.

At my parents' factory, we used to operate 24hrs (using night shifts) to maximise output during the high season. However, this was more dangerous to the night staff who would often sneak off to sleep and leave machines undermanned and under-supervised. The output and quality suffered as well as more stock being unaccounted for. In the end, the night shift was scrapped because the cons outweighed the pros, despite customers being more satisfied with their orders completed earlier.

[view whole blog post ]
 See More    |     Report Abuse


You might also be interested in the following news stories:

Africa:   The Evolutionary Arms Race Between Bats and Moths (analysis)
The Conversation
26 June 2015

In the struggle for survival, predators need to capture and consume prey, and prey have to avoid being eaten. Over evolutionary time this has evolved into a kind of arms race between the two, in which ... [read more]

South Africa:   Do We Have the Humanity to Care for Others in a Post-Work Society? (analysis)
The South African Civil Society Information Service
26 June 2015

The South African government has finally come around to talking about introducing a national minimum wage. There's still no indication what the floor will be set at, but this is surely good news in a ... [read more]

South Africa:   Energy Body Says No to Electricity Hike (news)
News24Wire
29 June 2015

Eskom's request for an additional increase in electricity prices has been declined by the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) on Monday. [read more]



blogAfrica is allAfrica.com's platform to help you keep an ear on the African blogosphere. We draw diverse voices from around the world who post regularly and insightfully about African issues. Bloggers, submit your blog's rss-feed!