Living in China Town
Windhoek - As SADC seeks to address its dire need of infrastructure development, it needs to brace itself for an imminent influx of immigrants from China.
SADC is bound to see an influx of Chinese firms and Chinese nationals finding their way to African soil as Chinese firms are taking up construction ventures in Africa and forging alliances with many African states.
There is need to engage such an economic powerhouse intelligently so that we can foster real economic growth and development and meet the needs of our own people.
What is notable is that Chinese firms have a tendency of bringing in their citizens to take up employment in semi-skilled posts that Africans can – and must – take up.
As was the case in the United States in the 19th century, Africa should get ready for the proliferation of the so-called China Towns.
The American gold rush of 1849, as well as the construction of the transcontinental railroad, resulted in an influx of Chinese migrants in the US.
In this very same fashion, SADC needs to be aware that the Chinese dragon will not only move its citizens from its rural areas to urban areas in China, but will also move people from China to Africa.
China has strong ties with most African governments, leveraging on its ties with liberation movements, and its policy of non-interference in domestic political affairs has seen it welcomed on the continent with open arms.