China’s new President Xi Jinping was headed Friday to the Congolese capital Brazzaville, the final leg of a three-nation Africa tour that has underscored Beijing’s growing presence in the resource-rich continent.
China’s president Xi Jinping
Deals worth several billion dollars are due to be signed during Xi’s two-day visit to Congo, an impoverished country of four million with significant oil resources.
One will finance the building of more than 500 kilometres (300 miles) of highway between Brazzaville and the economic capital on the Atlantic Coast, Pointe-Noire.
Xi’s African tour, part of his first presidential trip that began in Russia, has also taken him to Tanzania and South Africa.
China’s business boom and its rise to become the world’s second-largest economy has seen financial and trade ties rocket in recent years as it sources many of its raw materials from Africa.
But ahead of Xi’s visit to Congo, many expressed doubt that he will bring job opportunities with him, since when Chinese companies set up shop in Africa, they often bring their workers with them.
“It’s like we don’t have able hands in Congo,” a teacher at a training college told AFP. “If you import labour when there are no able people or specialists, that’s OK. But they even bring their own chauffeurs. There’s no transfer of abilities.”