Humphrey Nkonde - Journalist, Ndola, Zambia
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China’s engagement in Africa is viewed negatively by many. However, it does have numerous benefits for the rural population, our author maintains.

Chinese companies have made valuable contributions towards the development of rural areas in Zambia most of which are in need of infrastructure. They are involved in constructing health posts, schools, roads, hydro-power stations and other infrastructure following decentralisation and the creation of several districts, mostly in rural areas, by the ruling Patriotic Front government since 2011. Among new districts benefiting from infrastructure development is Nsama, in the Northern Province.

Nsama used to be a village without any infrastructure until it was turned into a district in 2011. Its first boarding secondary school is now being built by the Chinese company Jiangxi Zhongmei Engineering Group at a cost of 43 million Zambian Kwacha (about 4.2 million US dollars). The school will have 59 blocks including classrooms, hostels for pupils, an ablution block, a kitchen and a dining hall. The design of the school includes 27 modern staff houses for teachers. While the company employed about 100 locals, construction initially stalled due to a shortage of skilled bricklayers among Zambians.

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