Can Making Artwork Empower Women in Kenya? A Dispatch from Three Organizations

“No one is too poor to give away something, and I want to help poor women,” said an educator who has been working on empowering women by teaching them how to make handicraft for eight years in Kenya. Low educational attainment and social status keep many women at the bottom cadres of the labor force and marginal roles of the economy in many African countries. … Continue reading Can Making Artwork Empower Women in Kenya? A Dispatch from Three Organizations

The Kenya Construction Industry Trade Union: A Friend for African Workers, a “Stranger” for Chinese Companies

“Trade unions always incite workers to make trouble, and ask us for more money. They really cause me a headache.” That is the commonly held perception of trade unions by project managers of Chinese construction companies in Kenya. According to the Kenya Labor Relations Act, a trade union is an association of employees whose principal goal is to regulate relations between employees and employers. Employees … Continue reading The Kenya Construction Industry Trade Union: A Friend for African Workers, a “Stranger” for Chinese Companies

Behind the SGR Racism Scandal: The Challenge of Communication Between Chinese and Kenyans

In the last several decades, Chinese investment, trade, and aid in Kenya have considerably increased. Under China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative, the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) has been regarded as one of the most remarkable achievements of cooperation between China and Kenya, creating approximately 25,000 job positions for Kenyan locals. Nevertheless, conflicts have emerged out of this cooperation. On July 8, 2018, The Standard, … Continue reading Behind the SGR Racism Scandal: The Challenge of Communication Between Chinese and Kenyans

Africa-based Chinese Tech Companies vs Chinese Construction Companies: A Dispatch on Labor Relations

Under the impact of the reform and opening-up policy in China during the 1980s, more and more Chinese companies started to seek business opportunities in various African countries. According to the data provided by China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the bilateral trade in 1999 between China and African Countries was 7 times more than that in 1979. However, the major players in the mid-1990’s were … Continue reading Africa-based Chinese Tech Companies vs Chinese Construction Companies: A Dispatch on Labor Relations

Exporting Handicrafts and Artwork to China? Another “Made in Africa” Wish

“I have nothing unhappy with the Chinese government and big corporations; they help us build a lot of things, like infrastructures. We Kenyans have bought a lot of stuff made in China, such as cell phones, but Chinese people here buy little. It’s not fair,” said John, a guide at Kazuri, an organization providing employment for disadvantaged groups within Kenyan society through the production of … Continue reading Exporting Handicrafts and Artwork to China? Another “Made in Africa” Wish