Sign up for our free China-Africa Week in Review email newsletter
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Follow CAP on Social Media

Listen to the CAP Podcast

Why the Lack of Chinese Transparency Undermines Trust in Kenya’s Sustainable Development

Construction workers wrap up the work day at a section of Ngong Road in the Karen neighbourhood of Nairobi. Photo by KC Cheng.

We were inching along Ngong Road, one of the major roads in Kenya that links Nairobi to Ngong town. Even at 3 in the afternoon, the traffic leading out of the capital was packed with commuters. Street-hawkers use this slowness to their advantage, going from window to window selling everything from mosquito rackets and packets of groundnuts to floor lamps and jigsaw puzzles. It is not uncommon to be stuck in traffic for 2 hours over distances that should only take 15 to 20 minutes on clear roads. “This is why I prefer boda-bodas,” I jabbed at my friend, knowing how she feels about motorbikes. They may be excellent for weaving in and out between vehicles, but notorious for not always getting riders to their destinations in one piece. Anyone who has ever been on the continent would understand that traffic here operates differently– the regard for human life is simply on a different level. I’ve seen a matatu (bus) cross highway barriers to drive against opposing traffic only to knock over an oncoming motorbike.

  • Get a daily email packed with the latest China-Africa news and analysis.
  • Read exclusive insights on the key trends shaping China-Africa relations.
  • Connect with leading professionals on the China- Africa Experts Network.

You’ve reached your free monthly article limit.

Subscribe today for unlimited access.

What is The China-Africa Project?

Independent

The CAP is passionately independent, non-partisan and does not advocate for any country, company or culture.

News

A carefully curated selection of the day’s most important China-Africa stories. Updated 24 hours a day by human editors. No bots, no algorithms.

Analysis

Diverse, often unconventional insights from scholars, analysts, journalist and a variety of stakeholders in the China-Africa discourse.

Networking

A unique professional network of China-Africa scholars, analysts, journalists and other practioners from around the world.