Building a Shared Future: Tanzanian businessman eyes Chinese demand for African cassava
Updated 12:52, 01-Sep-2018
China is full of entrepreneurial Africans looking to make their fortune by shipping Chinese goods back to the continent. But increasingly, merchants are bucking the trend and importing African products into China. CGTN's He Weiwei spoke to one Tanzanian in South China's Guangzhou who's doing just that.
"My name is John Rwehumbiza. I'm from Tanzania. I first came to China in 1997. We started the exporting cassava business from 2015. Africa is importing quite a lot (from China), but exporting very little to China. I thank President Xi Jinping's support to Africa very much. After he came to Tanzania when he took office, Tanzania we are lucky that we are given about 97% of agro products coming to China, duty free. At the moment we're doing the dried (cassava) chips. By the end of this year, we want to ship 150 thousand tons to China.
Reporter: John, this is your office?
JOHN VEDASTO RWEHUMBIZA TANZANIAN BUSINESSMAN "Yes, this is our office with the Chinese partner. In fact we have another office in Tanzania with the partner as well. We have a factory there, we have some farms. You can see here, these are some of our farms. They are all in Tanzania."
Mutually they're benefiting, because China has a very big appetite for cassava. We have so many farmers in Tanzania, but they're not benefiting from it. We cultivate cassava quite a lot. We have a very big land that cassava can grow everywhere. But then was neglected for so long time. With the business we're doing, with our coming, they're going to earn quite a lot.
JOHN VEDASTO RWEHUMBIZA TANZANIAN BUSINESSMAN "They're saying that they are able to have some decent houses, the kids will go to school, they have motorbikes, they do quite a lot."
They're very happy, especially China is being a very good partner.