The setting up of a textile factory in Zambia by the Chinese provided work and supported local cotton growers, but the thirst for mineral wealth at a knock-down price has put progress into reverse gear:
“But last month the factory shut down production, strangled by a new wave of Chinese interest across Africa that some critics say amounts to little more than another round of foreign plunder, as Beijing extracts minerals and other natural resources at knock-down prices while battering the continent’s economies with a flood of subsidised goods and surplus labour.”
Source: The Guardian 5.2.2007.
This echoes sentiments expressed in neighbouring Zimbabwe where the old colonialism’s legacy has gone particularly, disastrously wrong. Surely help from any quarter would be welcome. With massive problems providing health care where Aids is pandemic, education and economic support where inflation is astronomical any intention to intervene would surely focus on this dire situation. Not so, the Chinese seem to enter as self-contained groups, selling their manufacture and taking the mineral wealth at a knock-down price.