Chinese Road Construction

Since setting foot on this Continent I have seen evidence of Chinese construction all over. Never has it been more obvious, and on such a scale as here in Cameroon. The Chinese are making deals with as many African Nations as possible, extracting precious resources (iron, gold, oil, aluminum, you name it) in exchange for their expertise and labor on massive infrastructure projects. These range from roads and railways to hydro-electric dams and generators and deep sea ports.

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Rocky roads under construction

On these road crews it’s always easy to spot the Chinese workers with their large round hats directing and running the show. All the heavy equipment is directly from China, and many projects are accompanied by virtual cities built in the middle of nowhere to house all the workers. The entire area is complete with signs in Chinese.

Here in Cameroon the sheer scale of the projects is immense, like nothing I have ever seen before. Huge slabs of forest have been smashed down to build highways and enormous concrete bridges span rivers that must be raging in the wet season. When driving a completed section it’s eerie to race through the thick jungle with cruise control on 60 miles an hour on a perfect interstate-grade highway.

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The sheer size of the construction is mind blowing… bigger than anything I have ever seen, anywhere in the world

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The dust is impressive

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Moving through the construction zone

In one small town I drive through the locals have blockaded the new road and are protesting. I gather the construction has contaminated their drinking water, and they are sick to death of the whole thing, which has been on-going for two years already and has another two to go. One truck driver explains the construction creates virtually no jobs for locals, and any that do exist pay a pittance.

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These bridges are on a scale that is hard to imagine for the middle of nowhere

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These logging trucks are everywhere, smashing down the jungle

The speed at which China is “building” Africa is staggering, and I hear reports of a new railway in the East that European interests tried to build for decades, without ever being granted permission. The Chinese now have that permission and are building full steam ahead.

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A lake high in the mountains that took some finding

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A typical town in Cameroon, trash on every single surface, open sewer

I wonder how different this part of the world will look in ten years.


8 Responses

  1. Ron says:

    Very impressive how fast they are constructing. Construction always comes with some downside like smoke, dust, pollution. It’s just how it is.

    It must be a blessing for these African countries to finally get the proper infrastructure that we in the West have had for so many decades, and hopefully it will accelerate the development of their countries and economies.

  2. Simone says:

    Interesting. World changing rapidly.

  3. Chris says:

    Hi Dan,

    Thank you for sharing such wonderful accounts and pictures (especially of Sandy 😉 of your epic journey. Your adventure is particularly enlightening and meaningful to me as I am of African heritage and an avid fan of cultural history belonging to all the races across our planet. I initially became interested in your blogs by the type and amount of modifications (amazing!) you did to your Rubicon. I am blessed to now see you courageously take your Jeep upon a journey most vehicles will never embark. All the best as you travel, you are definitely not alone.


    • Dan Grec says:

      Hi Chris,
      Wow, thankyou so much for the kind words, that really means a lot to me :)

      Let me know if there is anything specific you would like to see photos of, or for me to write about, and I will do my best!

      Thanks again,

  4. Brent Bartholomew says:

    Those bridges in the middle of nowhere link to those interstates that lead to those deep sea ports. Could be good for the country. It definitely helps the Chinese extract and export those minerals….

    • Dan Grec says:

      Absolutely, that is what is going on.

      There is a plan to all this, and the plan is to extract as many resources as fast as possible as cheap as possible!


  5. Andrew Walsh says:

    What they are mainly getting for all their construction works in most parts of Africa, is fertil land to grow for food that is totally sent back to China.
    In China there is not enough land but mainly their water is running out to grow.

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