Egypt has benefited to the tune of over US $7bn in infrastructure projects so far implemented by Chinese companies in the country.
Noteworthy construction projects in the pipeline in Egypt planned by China are:
the second phase of the New Administrative Capital of Egypt’s CBD worth US $3.5bn
a petrochemical plant that will cost US $6.1bn;
In addition, China has its eye on a water storage station worth US $2.7bn and;
a coal power plant.
Chinese companies taking part in the development of Africa’s infrastructure have drawn praise and condemnation in almost equal measure from local construction industry players.
In an ongoing poll on whether the good outweighs the bad, those feeling that the Chinese are doing more harm stand at 50% while those thinking otherwise stand at 37%. The rest are not sure.
From the comments of those polled, it seems more a fear than a reality with some feeling that Africa is undergoing a new age of colonization this time from the East with many similarities to the European colonization of Africa. A widely-held belief is of unmanageable debt levels being reached that will drive Africa into servitude, an invasion of Chinese workers and products and a conduit for regimes to siphon off money from ill-conceived white elephant projects.
Worker discontent is often rampant along with accusations of discrimination and a failure to train and transfer skills to locals.
Recently however, CSCEC the Chinese company involved in the construction of the New Administrative Capital committed to train 10,000 local workers in an effort to allay concerns regarding the transfer of skills.
- Links: Construction review online
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