In the ‘Pearl of Africa’ – Uganda, a livelihood project that is contracted to build by Chinese corporation, Isimba Hydroelectric Power Station, is now constructing prosperously. This Hydroelectric Power Station is hoping to stimulate Uganda economic and release pressure from hydroelectric shortage locally. It is also helping thousands of young people in Uganda to achieve their dream.
The power station is located at the village of Isimba on the Victoria Nile, in Kamuli District. This project was invested by the Ministry of energy and mineral development of Uganda, and the construction contractor is the China International Water & Electric Corporation (中国水利电力对外公司), which is a Chinese government-owned power company and subsidiary of China Three Gorges Corporation (中国三峡集团). The total construction cost of this project was $568 million USD, with installed capacity of 183.2 megawatts.
According to the project general manager, Wang Yongtian (王永填), this project has hired about 2700 local staffs at the construction peak, which has taken up 86% of the total number of employees, and most of them were young people. During construction period, they could learn different kinds of knowledges and techniques. Besides, there were over 40 engineers have sent to China for training.
A 24 years old girl, Alice, is currently working as a secretary in the general affairs department of this project. She said, ‘I am able to work with Chinses people here, learning their language and culture, it is very fun and interesting!’
When talking about how does she getting along with Chinese colleagues, Alice said, ‘We are good together! My Chinese colleagues have tried very hard to communicate with us, making sure that we understand what they were talking about, and they are very keen to adapt to our life. We always share Ugandan food as well! It was much delicious when you share them with your good friends!’
A 28 years old community liaison officer, Khamis, have only been working for this project for about 1 year, but he is working very professionally and maturely.
Khamis said, ‘I need to deal with different people every day in this position, because of this, I believed that I am improving day by day.’
In this project, there is a ‘foreign model worker’ as well as the others. She has a Chinese name called Ma Jia (马佳), she is now 30 years old, currently working as administrative assistant. She has been studying abroad, in Nanjing Normal University (南京师范大学) and Hohai University (河海大学) in China, which made her able to speak fluent Chinese. At the same time, she is good at English and common-used language in Uganda. As many of the local employees could only speak their own language, Ma Jia’s language capabilities have turned out to be very helpful and useful. She did not only help to make sure that there is not misunderstandings between the Chinese managers and local workers, she is also the right arm for maintaining good communications between this project, local government and suppliers.
Because of her excellent working performances, she has been awarded as ‘The Best Foreign Employee 2016’ by China Three Gorges Corporation. In May 2017, she was invited by the company, to give a talk in local community and schools. Her speech has helped the local people to understand more about the important meaning of constructing a hydroelectric power station and also the culture of China enterprises.
Ma Jia said, ‘This power station project does not only provide large amount of job opportunities for us, but also making our life more convenience by building roads and supplying electricity. The company also offered varies helps to the schools around, apart from building schoolhouses, they also gave out custom made uniform, school bag and stationery to the children.’
She also said, ‘As the “One Belt One Road Initiative” is going deep, there will be more Chinese enterprises, like Three Gorges Corporation, to go abroad and co-operate with international companies. Chinese products and technology have matched with the demand of Africa, to stimulate our national development. Chinese people are hardworking and friendly, Uganda always welcome Chinese companies come here, work with us and help us for local development.’