Mar 12, 2015
The Chinese population on the east African island of Madagascar defies many of the poorly-informed albeit widely-held stereotypes about Chinese migrants on the rest of the continent. First, the community there isn't small or isolated. In fact, the Chinese population on Madagascar is now estimated to be around 100,000 and growing, making it the third largest Chinese community in all of Africa. While many Chinese immigrants in the rest of Africa are new to the region, not in Madagascar. The first wave of Chinese migration to the island dates back to the early 1800s. Whereas Chinese migrants elsewhere in Africa are often viewed quite poorly by the local population, in Madagascar the older generation of Chinese migrants is regarded as among the most popular of the islands various minorities. Sino-Malagasy expert Cornelia Tremann joins Eric & Cobus to discuss one of the most fascinating Chinese engagements anywhere in Africa.