Jacob Wanyama is Coordinator of the African LIFE Network in Kenya and a member of the Nourishing the Planet Project Advisory Group. After reading our post on Chinese investment in Ethiopian agriculture he sent us the following note:
Thanks for sharing your experience in Ethiopia on Chinese investment in Africa. What you have seen applies to every country where China is ”investing”. Suddenly, we are now seeing Chinese colors, idols, etc. in every part of the countries they are supporting. In Nairobi, for example, when you come into the city, you will surely be greeted with a huge monument with the words, “China and Kenya” written on it, spanning across the main highway from the airport and Mombasa–both of which are the main gateway into the hinterland of the country. And in Nairobi city itself you will be greeted at every entrance of major public places, such as supermarkets and recreation centers, with strange lion looking idols with strange inscriptions on them. Rumor has it that these too are a donation from China! A number of Kenyans I talked to recently expressed their deep concern as to whether our country is actually being auctioned off –material and soul.