SWAKOPMUND, NAMIBIA — Chinese construction companies have contributed greatly to invest in the development of infrastructure in Africa, African experts said here on Wednesday.
Attending the Program for Infrastructural Development in Africa (PIDA) Week which was held in Swakopmund, coastal city of Namibia, these African experts said the Chinese companies have done a lot but can still do more.
Lindani Ndlovu from Botswana, an independent researcher in international economics, said that although Chinese companies are doing well, there are still a few improvements they can make.
"If you go around the continent there are many examples of their impact on infrastructure. In Kenya, they have just completed the first leg of the standard gauge railway from Mombasa to Nairobi," Ndlovu said of the Chinese construction companies.
However, what these Chinese companies can improve on is firstly making use of local resources wherever it is possible because that has an impact on the local economy, he said.
"Secondly, there needs to be more use of local labour during the development and construction of the infrastructure. There needs to be training of these locals for a takeover of the management, administration and the governance of infrastructure which Chinese companies bring to Africa," Ndlovu added.
A delegate from Sudan, Eltayeb Barheet, said that Chinese companies have built three dams and also helped in the construction of big transmission lines and substations that are 1760 kilometres long altogether.
"I think since they are in Sudan, they will discover over time what other opportunities they can improve in different industries, depending on their economy and their chances of investing," said Barheet.