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Rwanda: Locals struggles for their rights as Chinese companies increase investments in the country

Author: Lily Kuo, Quartz, Published on: 22 November 2016

"Rwanda is a landlocked country with few natural resources. So why is China investing so heavily in it?", 22 Nov 2016

It’s hard not to see China’s footprint wherever one goes in Rwanda. Chinese engineers have designed and built…various hotels, schools, and hospitals; and 80% of the country’s roads, according to a former Chinese ambassador to Rwanda…Small, landlocked Rwanda has few natural resources…Rwanda, which went from suffering one of history’s worst genocides in 1994 to becoming one of the fastest-growing economies on the continent, wants to establish itself as the business and technological hub of Africa…To that end, the government offers hefty tax incentives…China…remains among Rwanda’s top trading partners

Not everything goes smoothly for the Chinese in Rwanda either. Some locals criticize Chinese companies for taking jobs and contracts away from Rwandans, complain that imported Chinese goods are of poor quality, and suspect Chinese visitors of everything from bringing in prison labor to fathering and leaving behind villages of illegitimate children…

“You have to struggle with them, for equipment, for protection for the workers, for everything. Other companies, you don’t even need to ask. It’s automatic. But for them, [the goal] is to save money only,” says Jean Baptiste Rwigema, who has been overseeing a marshland for rice and horticulture being built in eastern Rwanda by Sinohydro, a large state-owned firm. [mentions China Geo Engineering]

Read the full post here

Related companies: Sinohydro