Monday, January 14, 2013

On the road in Addis Ababa

(Jan 13, 2013, China Daily)--Efficiency and price competitiveness are key to success of Chinese enterprises, says project manager Zhou Yongsheng has probably done more than anyone to tackle the bustling city of Addis Ababa's traffic problems.

The 41-year-old is general manager of the highways subsidiary of one of China's largest state-owned enterprises, China Communications Construction Company, and has built many of the Ethiopian capital's major highways.

"You know, in Addis (Ababa), around 60 percent of the new roads have been built by me," he says with a hint of pride. Zhou was taking time out on a Friday afternoon in his sparse office in the Bole sub-city area of the capital but there will be no weekend respite.

Road building in Addis Ababa is now a 24-7 operation, a marked contrast from when he first came to the city in 1998. "Then no one worked on a Saturday or Sunday and there was no one working at night, except at a nightclub," he laughs.

Zhou, who heads both the Ethiopian and Tanzanian offices of the CCCC subsidiary First Highway Engineering Co, believes African workers still have not fully adopted the Chinese work ethic. His company employs up to 8,000 local workers, compared with 400 Chinese, a ratio of around 20 to 1.

"The Chinese people work very hard. Locals want incentives. People normally work 8 hours but if we want them to work an extra 2 hours we have to pay them 1.25 times. Another two hours on top of that and it is 1.5 times. This is also required by Ethiopian law," he says. Read more from China Daily »

No comments:

Post a Comment