Everything you ever wanted to know about the Chinese in Africa... but were too afraid to ask
The Chinese presence in Africa has been so sudden and so all-encompassing that it's left a lot of people confused. Chinese farmers now compete for space and customers in Lusaka's open-air markets, Chinese textiles are undercutting Nigerian manufacturers, tens of thousands of Africans now work for Chinese companies and hundreds of thousands, even millions of Chinese now call Africa home. This has all happened in just the past decade, leaving people little time to adjust and understand the cultural, political and economic changes that have been set in motion by the Chinese. So it's understandable that people have questions, and not always polite, politically correct questions about one another: Why are Chinese so racist towards black people? Why do Chinese bosses think African workers are lazy? Why do the Chinese import workers when there are so many unemployed people already here? Over the past six years a growing number of people have directed those sensitive question towards us at The China Africa Project where every week we receive a growing amount of DMs, PMs and emails from curious listeners and social media followers. Since many of these questions deal with incendiary issues of race, stereotypes and caricatures, Cobus a Eric would discretely provide one-to-one replies. However it became apparent that these are in fact the key issues that are on everyone's minds and that it's critical that they get seen by a wider audience. Beginning May 2016, The China Africa Project launched a new site "Africa-China QaA" that tackles head-on the hardest, most sensitive issues in the China-Africa relationship. Every week, a new QaA column will be posted and distributed to newspaper sites and popular portals in the United States, Africa and soon in China as well (translated into Chinese). If you have a question or comment and would like to join the discussion, just send us an email at email@example.com, message us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ChinaAfricaProject or DM us on Twitter: @eolander | @standenesque.