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Dec 18, 2019

The recent kidnapping of three Chinese miners in the southwestern Nigerian state of Osun highlights the vulnerability that confronts the Chinese in many parts of Africa. Chinese companies are well-known for being willing to work in highly volatile regions, even amid civil wars in places like the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, and Mali among others.

Until recently, Chinese companies opted to not invest in security measures or contracted with international firms like G4S who've been active on the continent for many years. That's now starting to change as Chinese private security contractors see an opportunity to provide protective services to companies all along the Belt and Road including Africa.

"In light of China’s “going out’’ policy, the need to support China’s State-Owned Enterprises that are investing in high-risk areas has expanded the Chinese market for security services," according to Dr. Alessandro Arduino, Co-Director of the Security & Crisis Management International Centre at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences. "Risk assessment and mitigation in the African countries participating in the BRI requires a wide range of security services along both the maritime and land routes," he added in a recent column written for the China-Africa Research Initiative.

Dr. Arduino joins Eric to discuss the growing market for Chinese protective services in Africa and the risks confronting these security contractors who are operating in new, unfamiliar territory.

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