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/business 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:

Afrique du Sud:   Plainte d'une association de défense des Afrikaners contre Malema (news)
Radio France Internationale
19 December 2014

En Afrique du Sud, les propos de Julius Malema provoquent la colère de la communauté Afrikaner. Cette semaine, le leader du parti populiste, les Combattants pour la liberté ... [read more]

South Africa:   Do Prisoners Have Access to Better Medical Facilities Than the Public? (analysis)
Africa Check
18 December 2014

South Africa's Deputy Minister of Correctional Services Thabang Makwetla has said that correctional facilities in South Africa are not the "disease-infested", poorly serviced centres of public ... [read more]

Afrique du Sud:   Les attaques xénophobes en augmentation (news)
Radio France Internationale
18 December 2014

En Afrique du Sud, les autorités mettent en garde contre une augmentation des attaques xénophobes. La semaine dernière encore, deux commerces tenus par des Somaliens ont ... [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!