Gauging Perceptions About Chinese Businesses In Africa

Gauging Perceptions About Chinese Businesses In Africa

With Chinese investment in Sub-Saharan Africa estimated to be at about $122 billion, a 15-country survey is being planned to learn what Africans think of Chinese companies operating there, according to a report in AllAfrica.

The survey aims to provide a factual basis for dialogue with the Chinese government and Chinese companies, the report said.

“It’s clear that there are widespread negative perceptions about (China’s) involvement,” said Professor Deon Rossouw of the Ethics Institute of South Africa. “China is now Africa’s largest trading partner. Given the importance of the relationship, particularly to Africa, we cannot rely on rumor and misinformation.”

Survey countries were selected based on the size of Chinese investments there, and anticipated high response rates, survey organizers said.

Countries to be surveyed include Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The survey will be executed jointly by African and Chinese organizations including the Ethics Institute of South Africa (EthicsSA); the Charles Leopold Mayer Foundation for the Progress of Humankind; the Forum on Ethics and Responsibility; Globethics.net and Center for International Business Ethics, Beijing.

In addition to sizable Chinese investments, countries were chosen based on this criterion: “…EthicsSA and Globethics.net had good contacts and partner organizations in these respective countries to be able to get respondents to do the survey,” said Sofie Geerts, project manager for EthicsSA.

Other Asian countries such as India and Japan were not included in the survey because public opinion about Chinese investment is much more vocal than investment by other countries, Geerts said. Plans are underway to conduct a similar survey for India, the report said.