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Labor Relations at Chinese Construction Sites in Africa

Few topics have shaped perceptions about China’s engagement in Africa more than the presence of Chinese construction sites across the continent. Chinese contractors have built countless ports, roads, railways, and more, but the way that work has been done has been very controversial over the years.

There’ve been widespread complaints about mismanagement, abuse, and discrimination at Chinese-run construction sites across the continent. While there’s no doubt some veracity to those claims, many of the allegations are also rooted in vastly different expectations between Chinese managers and local workers.

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What is The China-Global South Project?


The China-Global South Project is passionately independent, non-partisan and does not advocate for any country, company or culture.


A carefully curated selection of the day’s most important China-Global South stories. Updated 24 hours a day by human editors. No bots, no algorithms.


Diverse, often unconventional insights from scholars, analysts, journalists and a variety of stakeholders in the China-Global South discourse.


A unique professional network of China-Africa scholars, analysts, journalists and other practioners from around the world.