Chinese law magazine “Rule of Law Weekly” interviewed six Chinese people who are working in Africa. Each individual works in a different country and they all have a story to tell. The following is the sixth installment in the six-part series.
Rule of Law Weekly reporter Gao Yin Translation by Erik Myxter
“First I wanted to gain more knowledge and experience. Secondly I was young and thought that maybe in the future I will not have the chance to go to Africa, so why not go and have a look?” With this kind of a mindset in the end of the 2011 Liu Yu (pseudonym) went to the East African country of Kenya to work for the company Zoomlion.
Initially he came to this country famous for its top-class long-distance runners and was surprised to find out the country’s weather was like a continuous spring with temperatures at 25 degrees Celsius a year. When he went to the local Chinese supermarket and was able to buy Wang Shou Yi (a famous Chinese brand) seasoning, his initial strangeness to the country was cut in half. With everything going in his favor, he adapted to live in the “Kenyan mode”
Liu Yu mainly works in sales, irrigation building and trade.
While speaking with customers, Liu Yu received much of his information about local laws, procedures and news.
“For example I learned about clearing customs, the products under law that are subject to taxes and information about duty and VAT. Another example of some news he learned was when the new president of Zambia took office he issued a decree that bound the customs and Inland revenue Department and now all data can be directly linked to customs in effort to prevent corruption.” He said.
As for Kenya’s law environment, Liu Yu thinks highly of it saying, “Kenya’s law environment is loose, as long as you comply with the law and behave yourself, don’t kill people, and don’t start fires then no one gives you any trouble.”
In a blink of an eye, Liu Yu found himself to have already been in Kenya for over a year. During this time he occasionally goes to Tanzania and Zambia. In these three countries the local people say Chinese enterprises are very good. “They will point at a road and say, ‘This is a road Chinese people built, Very good!’”
During Liu Yu’s time in Kenya there has been one man who has given him a deep impression.
“Before there was man who was a cleaner at a hotel I was staying at. He was very enthusiastic and brought me to many markets where I could buy things in Nairobi. He didn’t take any money for his help and he didn’t often say ‘we are friends’ in a fake manner. He was very caring and honest.”
As for the future, Liu Yu is sure to consider himself as someone who likes to create the foundations for the benefit of future generations. “If I start getting close to 30 years old, and am still in Africa starting a business, this will be hard to accept for my personality.”
Liu Yu feels that relative to Europe, America and Asia, Africa is a little child with a massive amount of space to grow in the future. “So in order to evaluate Africa, I think you must start by understanding the continent and to be inclusive to its development perspective.”
“这个小伙子之前在我们酒店里打扫房间。他很热情，给我介绍内罗毕哪些地方可以买到好东西，还专门带我去看过市场。他也不收钱，也很少会有‘we are friends’这种大路话。他善良、正直。”
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