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Feature: Chinese company changes life of Tanzanian salesman
Last Updated: 2016-12-03 13:35 | Xinhua
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S. Krishna, once a small business salesman, was catapulted into a whole new life two years ago when he found a job in a Dar es Salaam-based Chinese company.

"Working with the Sunshine Industrial Company not only offered me a new set of business skills, but also changed my way of thinking," the Tanzanian man in his early forties said in a recent interview with Xinhua.

After years of job-hopping with no success, Krishna got a position in the Sunshine Industrial Company in 2014, a Chinese group engaged in various fields of business including mining, manufacture and logistics.

The company has been expanding at a fast pace, which to him was almost a miracle. Krishna said he had never seen an operation and management system as efficient as the one invented by this Chinese company.

After joining the Sunshine, Krishna received training at the Chinese Agriculture University in Beijing, China, where Krishna found the reasons behind the miracle after studying and visiting farms and villages during a three-week stay.

"I was impressed by how the Chinese work hard to earn a living," Krishna said. Moreover, he found that the notion of sustainable development has been the key to China's success in feeding a growing population and lifting millions out of poverty.

The Chinese say intelligence is endowed, but wisdom is learnt, said the Tanzanian man who was promoted to general manager a year after he joined Sunshine Industrial Company. "I was familiar with local market and Tanzanian ways of doing business."

Lv Youqing, Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania, said Chinese companies have created 150,000 direct employments and 350,000 indirect employments in the East African country. China helps create more jobs than any other countries in Tanzania, he added.

Tanzania is an ideal house for labor-intensive industries. According to World Bank statistics, in the East African country with 56 million people, the number of youths (aged 14 to 25) has grown significantly over the past decades, contributing to the bulk of the labor force.

In absolute numbers, the size of Tanzania's youth almost doubled from 4.4 million in 1990 to 8.1 million in 2010. It is expected to swell to 11 million by 2020 and 15 million by 2030.

However, Tony Sun, an executive director of Sunshine Industrial Company, said Tanzania, like some other African countries, has relatively low labor efficiency due to lacking of skilled workers, which was the biggest obstacle for the development of labor-intensive industries.

"That's why professional training should be so important for every Chinese enterprises seeking to develop in Africa," he said, noting that his company holds training session every week for local staff.

Tooku Garments Company, a Chinese firm in Benjamin William Mkapa special economic zone in Dar Es Salaam, spent two months on average training per African worker.

Wang Jingying, a slim woman from China's eastern Zhejiang Province, was hired by Tooku Garments Company to train local workers. Wang, one of the company's 32 Chinese staff, has been in Tanzania for a year.

"Tanzanians are earnest learners," she said, "So am I," she added with pride. "Now I can communicate with locals in Kiswahili."

The media company StarTimes, operating in Tanzania among other African countries has been for years implementing a strategy of talent localization.

The company allocates 250 hours every year for training. Besides, StarTimes sent local staff to study in China, where they learnt China's most advanced media technologies in leading companies and institutes.

On the wall of a hall housing lines of computers, there's a picture of the company's managing staff, most of whom are Tanzanians.

"We will transfer the operation to Africans with a hope to promote sustainable development by local people," said executive director Sun.

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