China is playing a leading role in Angola as the southwest African country faces massive infrastructure demands after the end of the civil war. CCTV’s Wu Lei reports from Kilamba, Angola.
After nearly 30 years of civil war, many Angolan residents dreamed that they might finally have comfortable, affordable housing. During the past years, the Angolan government has spent tens of billions of dollars on housing projects, including the largest Kilamba Kiaxi project.
“The living conditions here are much better than my previous house, because all the buildings are new, and life is very ordered. This is an open city with many green belts,” said resident Jordao Augusto Trajanno.
Chinese construction company helps build affordable housing in post-war AngolaChina is playing a leading role in Angola as the southwest African country faces massive infrastructure demands after the end of the civil war. CCTV's Wu Lei reports from Kilamba, Angola.
More than 85,000 residents live in Kilamba. Since October 2012, the previously rural area has become a bustling satellite city, covering 8.8 square kilometers (3.4 square miles) with over 20,000 homes. The government also appointed Joaquim Israel Marques as the city’s first mayor.
Nearly 95 percent of the homes are filled, Marques said.
“We have 24 kindergartens, 17 public schools, 9 primary and 8 secondary schools,” he added. “We have sewage water treatment plant. We have two electricity substations, we have roads, telecommunications, landscapes, all the infrastructure was done for the project.”
The Kilamba Kiaxi project builder CITIC Construction was able to complete the largest housing project on the African continent on schedule, said executive general manager Zhu Boxue.
“In our combined fleet, different companies with different strengths are united to maximize their talents. For example, CITIC construction is responsible for the whole commercial organizing, while our construction companies build all the houses, and logistics companies shipped over 4 million tons of domestic building materials. We have developed a creative business model for this project,” Zhu said.
CITIC Construction also funded a vocational school in Kilamba in 2014, providing free training for impoverished city youths from the ages of 16 to 24. Most students at the school take courses in electrical and mechanical engineering, the most needed skills in the post-war reconstruction process. This May, the school for the first time recruited 16 female Angolan students to study hotel management.
The school is also supported by the Angolan and Chinese governments, and was inaugurated on May 8, 2014 by Angolan Vice President Manuel Domingos Vicente and the visiting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.
Encouraged by its success in Kilamba, the company is now working with other Angolan cities to construct similar housing projects. It is also trying to replicate its experience in more African countries including Kenya, Rwanda, and Nigeria.
“Chinese companies have played a key role in Angola’s post war reconstruction. Under the framework of China-Angola bilateral cooperation, many Chinese enterprises have actively participated in the rebuilding process,” said Jose Antonic Maua, Angola’s minister of urban development and housing.