Published on Business Daily, by OPIYO ODODA, August 4, 2010.
One of the surest ways Africa can benefit from interaction with China is for Africans to study the Chinese language … //
… African states should prioritise Chinese language due to a number of reasons:
The first reason is the fact that China presently extracts most of its raw materials from Africa.
A survey of China-Africa involvement indicates the presence of China in the Southern Sudan, the swamps of Niger Delta, and even the Atlantic coast of Benin where night and day oil rigs produce oil.
Further, Chinese involvement in the virgin forests of Liberia, Cameroon, Mozambique and Congo, where local Africans and Chinese chop down thousands of hectares of trees for timber to be shipped to state owned saw mills in faraway provinces such as Sichua.
As these resources get exploited, there is need for correspondence and clear understanding of each other directly, other than through interpreters.
Secondly, the need for proper communication with China lies in the mining industry.
Copper smelters and iron ore mines in Zambia and Gabon, stood idle for a generation, but are now working again under Chinese ownership.
In Ghana, Botswana, and South Africa, China’s insatiable demand for minerals has opened up new markets for mineral products.
Thirdly, everywhere in Africa we are faced with cheaper Chinese produced imports.
Many observers, in short, think and argue in the age old story for Africa, that China is stripping Africa of its resources to the benefit of a few fabulously wealthy leaders while ordinary citizens are left with a barren heritage. (full text).