|When China met Africa – Pointing to a radically different future|
| [01.10.2011, 03:11pm, Sat. GMT]|
|I saw a fascinating film, When China Met Africa, in the Norwegian International seminar in Litteraturhuset, lastweek. The film, by Nick and Marc Francis, follows the lives of two Chinese entrepreneurs in Zambia – one a farm owner, the other an employee of a Chinese firm responsible for building a major road. |
The film drew on research by IDS Globalisation Fellow Jing Gu. It gives a subtle and nuanced picture of the lives of Chinese entrepreneurs. It shows the clash of cultures and the resentment by Zambian workers, but it also shows the pressure that Chinese entrepreneurs feel under. It’s clear that the Zambian government is in awe of Chinese firms’ ability to deliver on major projects much faster than their western counterparts.
A historic gathering of over 50 African heads of state in Beijing reverberates in Zambia where the lives of three characters unfold. Mr Liu is one of thousands of Chinese entrepreneurs who have settled across the continent in search of new opportunities. He has just bought his fourth farm and business is booming.
Meanwhile Zambia’s Trade Minister is on route to China to secure millions of dollars of investment.
Through the intimate portrayal of these characters, the expanding footprint of a rising global power is laid bare – pointing to a radically different future, not just for Africa, but also for the world.