|CHINA'S INVESTMENT IN AFRICA COMES WITH BIG PRICE TAG|
|Publications - African Agenda|
|Written by Linus Atarah|
|Thursday, 20 August 2009 15:06|
Within the past few years, there has been a lot of discussion on China’s deepening economic partnership with Africa. While African governments openly welcome China’s economic investment as benign assistance and a timely supplement to dwindling development aid from traditional western donors, a report published in May by the African Labour Research Network, (ALRN)Finland presents an unflattering picture of Chinese investments, writes *Linus Atarah.
Presenting the findings of the research to the Finnish media, Herbert Jauch one of the authors of the report said, “We found that there is a great difference between the political relationship i.e., government- to -government on the one hand and the experiences of African workers on the other”.
ALRN researchers conducted the study in ten African countries – Ghana, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Nigeria Angola, South Africa and Kenya – focusing on China’s investment projects in these countries. They visited factories and construction sites ran by the Chinese.
The result is a 420-page report that details massive violations of labour legislation, not only workers’ rights embodied in the International Labour Organisation (ILO) core labour standards but also national legislations which provide for minimum wage, maternal leave, stipulated working hours and payment for over time. It was a consistent pattern in all ten countries.
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