The alleged banning of Africans from Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria from hotels in China's 3rd wealthiest city of Guangzhou in the recent past, is worrying. While reports said that it was occasioned by a criminal incident involving a person of African descent, there is more than meets the eye. While it is imperative that Africans must adhere to the laws of the land in which they stay, the ongoing departure of large numbers of Africans from Guangzhou, according to official local data and the African community raises eyebrows.
Guangzhou started experiencing a high influx of African businesspeople after China joined the World Trade Organisation in 2001.The growth was so rapid that in the 2000s the city’s Xiaobei area became known as “Little Africa.” In 2009, the city’s African population was estimated at 100,000. The city’s African population slid to a record low of 10,344 in February 2017, accounting for 13 per cent of the city’s 77,877 foreign residents with a valid visa, according to the municipal bureau of public security.
China has doubtlessly received warm welcome in Africa and should address concerns that Africans are frowned upon and slapped with prohibitive restrictions amounting to racism in the country. Respective African governments must proactively probe these allegations with a view of solidifying the China-Africa partnership.