Chinese investment in Kenya is bringing with it a nasty by-product — racism and discrimination from Chinese employers toward the local population and its workforce, according to a feature in the New York Times.
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China’s presence has expanded in Africa and no less in Kenya, where its companies have invested in infrastructure projects and agriculture. The NYT article features testimony from a variety of Kenyans who say they’ve experienced blatant racism from their Chinese employers, and have been segregated from Chinese employees.
The story, published late Monday, includes experiences from Kenyan people that are employed by Chinese companies that have expanded into the East African nation that was once part of the British Empire. The Chinese population in Kenya is estimated to be around 40,000 currently, with many there to work for one of hundreds of Chinese companies located in the country.
“Episodes involving discriminatory behavior by the region’s growing Chinese work force have unsettled many Kenyans, particularly at a time when their government seeks closer ties with China,” the feature by Joseph Goldstein, reported.
“In Nairobi, workers in their 20s and 30s swap stories of racism or discrimination they have witnessed. One described watching a Chinese manager slap her Kenyan colleague, who was also a woman, for a minor mistake. Other Kenyan workers explained how their office bathrooms were separated by race: one for Chinese employees, the other for Kenyans,” the article states.
A spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs was not immediately available when contacted by CNBC.