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Chinese Enterprises in Africa



The Takazze Hydropower Station on the Takazze River, a tributary of the Nile, is a joint venture built by the Ethiopia Electric Power Co. and the China Hydropower Joint Group composed of China Water Conservancy and Power Engineering Co. and Gezhouba Water Conservancy and Power Engineering Group Co.


With a double-curve concrete dam measuring an impressive 185 meters high, it is the largest water control project in Africa and also the largest cooperative project between China and an African country. Both sides maintain the project will exert profound significance on the development of economic cooperation between the two countries.


China Water Conservancy and Power Engineering Co. is one of the three main constructers of the Three Gorges Water Conservancy Project, the largest of its kind in the world. In 1999 and 2000, the company ranked the 136th among the 225 top construction contractors worldwide. It has contracted for the construction of 80 percent of the large and medium-sized water control projects and hydropower stations in China.


The China Hydropower Joint Group won the bidding for the Takazze project after defeating consortiums from Germany, Japan, Italy and other countries,.


South Africa


In 2003, the Hisense South Africa (Pry.) Co. was elected as the best supplier by local traders and Hisense TV sets were elected as the best quality product. The company had previously been praised as an outstanding example of Chinese investors by local government.


Zhou Houjian, Board Chairman of the Hisense Group, said, "Hisense products are excellent products of China and should become brand products in South Africa too."


Ten years ago, leaders of Hisense Group found that 14-inch black-and-white TV sets were in great demand in South Africa during a business inspection trip. In light of this, they decided to explore the local market with the product. Owing to this correct decision and reasonable pricing, the group achieved great success and took the initiative to export Chinese electrical appliances to South Africa. This was followed by a suggestion from the Hisense Group to run a joint venture with local enterprises in 1996, in order to cultivate and develop this potential market further.


In 2001, the Hisense Group increased its investment in South Africa by $2.95 million and bought over workshops of a company from the Republic of Korea, increasing the annual production capacity of its local operation to 200,000 TV sets and 100,000 DVD players. At the same time, the group has exported washing machines, microwave ovens and hi-fi music centers to South African market. As its production scale expanded and its products became popular among local consumers, Hisense Group began to export its products to other countries in southern, eastern and central Africa.




Several years ago, the Cangshi Co. from Gongyi, Henan Province, and the government of Anambra State of Nigeria concluded a contract for investing $12 million for building Fresh Water Works in the Nigerian state. To date, the company has run five enterprises in the country.


The Cangshi Co. is a township enterprise producing large concrete equipment, mining machinery, oil-extractors and nail-producing machines. In April 2000, the company signed a contract with the government of Anambra State for jointly establishing a casting and machinery company worth $44 million, in which the Chinese company invested with machinery and equipment. Designing and infrastructure construction of the joint venture have been completed and some projects have begun operation. By the end of this year, five more production lines are expected to be completed.


Being honest and putting trust and mutual benefit above everything are articles of faith of Cangshi Co. and the reasons for its success. In October 2001, officials of two other Nigerian states came to China and concluded contracts with the company for building a 600,000-ton cement plant, a 25-million woven bag factory and a 50,000-ton sugar factory. The combined investment totaled $100 million. Today all these cooperative projects are underway.




Shanghai Bell is one of the biggest telecommunications equipment and solution suppliers in Asia. It has developed its market in Africa, Central Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and other regions. In 2001 the company was one of the 30 biggest exporters of China.


The company concluded a contract worth $60 million with the Angola Telecom for expanding and updating the telecommunications networks in the southern and eastern parts of Angola.


The Angola Telecom is the largest telecommunications firm in the country. Its cooperation with Shanghai Bell covers design, engineering projects and equipment supply and installment.


Hisense South Africa (My.) Ltd.


This TV manufacturing joint venture is invested by China's Hisense Group and South African ATTRACT Co. in August 1996, with the Chinese side holding 60% of the stakes. It has an annual production capacity of 200,000 color TV sets and 100,000 DVD players.


Chambishi Copper Mine in Zambia


This is a joint venture between China Nonferrous Mining & Construction Corp. Ltd. and Zambia Consolidated Co. of Copper Mines. The Chinese side holds 85% of the stakes, and the Zambian side 15%. The Chinese side invested $150 million in the mine rehabilitation project that started on July 28, 2000. The Mine is designed with a daily processing capability of 6,500 tons of ores and an annual output of 120,000 tons of copper concentrate (containing 50,000 tons copper). In March 2003, the first batch of mineral products was shipped to South Africa.


Mozambique Sun & Sea Co. Ltd.


This prawn-farming company, covering 500 hectares, is invested by a Chinese enterprise with a total investment of $12.01million. It was put into operation in October 2001 with an annual output of about 700-800 tons of cultivated prawns, exported mainly to EU and other international markets.


Nigerian Railway Renovation Project


In 1995, China Engineering Group signed a contract worth $528 million with the Nigerian Government on the renovation project of 4,288-km railways in Nigeria. The project includes survey, designing and reconstruction of the railway, supply of locomotives, and training by experts.


(China.org.cn December 10, 2003)


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