Chinese contractors’ troubles in Africa

May 31, 2012

Articles reproduced on the TradeMark Southern Africa news aggregator — and forwarded to the China-in-Africa mailing list courtesy of Yoon Jung Park — report that Chinese road construction projects have been suspended in both Botswana and Tanzania because of delays in government payments. In Botswana, the suspension concerns a 115-km stretch being built by Sinohydro. In Tanzania, the Chinese Contractors Association asked the government to pay outstanding debt “so that they can complete the construction of 2,405.6 km trunk roads,” or about 66% of the total being built. “Johnson Chii, the vice chairman of the Chinese Contractors Association (CCA), said the money is owed since 2009, and has affected their ability to proceed with the work.”  I wonder if some of the contractors are private enterprises: road projects usually go to state enterprises as main contractors, but Chii’s Africanised name makes me curious about the situation in Tanzania.