African traders make it big time in China
Many traders work in and around a downtown neighbourhood known as “Little Africa”, or more insensitively “Chocolate City” by the local media. Along its winding central alley, a restaurant serves tilapia with fufu, fried fish and cassava as well as traditional Chinese fried rice and steamed fish. HONG KONG, FridayFrom a windowless room in a dilapidated Hong Kong high-rise, Ali Diallo sells Chinese electronics to retailers across Africa.
Sitting in a small room cluttered with cardboard boxes destined for Nigeria, Diallo welcomes the latest delivery of Chinese-made mobile phones to his office in Chungking Mansions — a bustling labyrinth better known for budget hotels and no-frills restaurants. The building is also the go-to place in Hong Kong for African buyers in search of cheap electronics, with phones selling from around $8 each.
Diallo’s annual turnover is $11 million a year through the sale of phones and tablets alone. According to Gordon Mathews, professor of anthropology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, up to a fifth of all mobiles in Africa have passed through Chungking Mansions building’s corridors in recent years.
But while this 17-storey hive is the storefront, the engines behind this trade lie in the industrial heartland of neighbouring Guangdong province in southern China, the mecca for low-cost manufacturing which has drawn Africa with one of the largest black communities in Asia.... Read the full, comprehensive news article and discuss at The Daily Nation