Who has a population density 3x the world average?
Who has 16 of the 20 most polluted cities in the world?
Who is #1 in the world’s CO2 emissions?
Who just reached a record high hazardous level of air pollution levels?
Who has a country filled with underemployment, water shortages, water pollution , soil erosion, growing desertification, and ever increasing energy usage contributing to global warming?
With 20% of the world’s population, (91 people per square mile) to say China is in need of room to grow is an understatement. It appears they have found that room in Africa. Driven by the need to find oil, timber and other raw materials, China has pledged 100 billion to develop commercial projects in the most economically needy countries of Africa. The rapid expansion of the Chinese “territories” is alarming.
There is a great deal of debate over how this is affecting Africa. The amount of jobs have increased; but what percentage of Africans are actually benefiting? Often China brings its own employees to the job sites, taking with them the resources and the profits. With Africa’s median age at less than 25 years old, there is a need for employment by the up and coming generation. In Angola for instance, Chinese street sellers are fast putting out of business thousands of locals and Malian sellers who have been there for generations; and Chinese oil companies employ fewer than 15 percent Angolan labor and usually at the end of the pay scale.
The mining and dam projects are leaving a mark on the continent as well. For example the current Ethiopian dam project is draining Kenya’s Lake Turkana. And the Chinese are looking to strip Africa of her timber, gold, uranium, and oil. How could one expect Chinese mining companies in Africa to comply with environmental and safety laws if the mines they operate in China are considered the most dangerous in the world?
This in addition to the fact that China is already one of the biggest culprits in demand of rhino horn and elephant tusks, may well be the beginning of the end of Africa as we know it. Do we really want a country who can’t control their own current environmental devastation to take over another continent?