China Training African Workforce to Partner with Chinese Businesses

With China continuing its wave of investments in Africa, Chinese companies are working to train more high-level professionals in the region, as a lack of qualified talent has become a roadblock for the budding business relationship between China and Africa.

A report by People’s Daily in China revealed that 31 students from Angola had completed bachelor’s degree programs in July from Changsha University of Science and Technology in Hunan. Those same students will integrate into current plans to improve Angola’s infrastructure alongside Chinese corporations.

China Road & Bridge Corp. sponsored each of the students’ tuition and living expenses during their five-year study, as well as 112 others from Equatorial Guinea and the Republic of Congo.

Xiao Jinquan, a senior partner at Dacheng Law Offices, says that the firm is in talks with several universities and companies to sponsor new training programs for African professionals.

“After finishing the training program, students will have the language ability, business and legal knowledge and experience to deal with Chinese companies,” Xiao said during the Second China-Africa People’s Forum earlier this month. “They will become the backbone of Chinese-African business.”

“During our work there, we deeply felt the urgent need for high-level business talent in Africa, which has been an obstacle for Chinese companies to invest in Africa,” Xiao added.

Only recent graduates or seniors from African universities will be accepted as applicants for Dacheng’s program, which will last between 12 and 18 months. The $15,700 in fees for each student will be covered by the firm.

In June, Chinese investments in Africa reached the $45 billion mark, making the need for capable African professionals a pressing concern for China. Of the 2,000 companies operating with Africa, 85 percent of their work force is comprised of local employees. Last year trade between China and Africa came to $166.3 billion.

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