Migrant Workers The Chinese Builders Behind Africa's Construction Boom

Specialists from China are erecting massive buildings across Africa, including Ethiopia's new national soccer stadium. The workers must leave behind their families and move to faraway countries. But the money is hard to beat.
Xu Dingqiang, the head of electrical and sanitation installations at the future Addis Ababa National Stadium.

Xu Dingqiang, the head of electrical and sanitation installations at the future Addis Ababa National Stadium.

Foto: Heike Klovert/ SPIEGEL ONLINE
Xu Dingqiang talks to a colleague about ongoing work at the construction site.

Xu Dingqiang talks to a colleague about ongoing work at the construction site.

Foto: Heike Klovert/ SPIEGEL ONLINE
Photo Gallery: Bunk Beds and Yeast Dumplings
Foto: Heike Klovert/ SPIEGEL ONLINE
Fotostrecke

Photo Gallery: Bunk Beds and Yeast Dumplings

Xu Dingqiang, the head of electrical and sanitation at the construction site, says he enjoys the mostly rainless Ethiopian weather.

Xu Dingqiang, the head of electrical and sanitation at the construction site, says he enjoys the mostly rainless Ethiopian weather.

Foto: Heike Klovert/ SPIEGEL ONLINE
Dormitories for Chinese workers

Dormitories for Chinese workers

Foto: Heike Klovert/ SPIEGEL ONLINE
Meaza Alemu, 23, enjoys working in the kitchen at the construction site and cooking for the Chinese and Ethiopian workers.

Meaza Alemu, 23, enjoys working in the kitchen at the construction site and cooking for the Chinese and Ethiopian workers.

Foto: Heike Klovert/ SPIEGEL ONLINE
Construction site manager Chen Yu

Construction site manager Chen Yu

Foto: Heike Klovert/ SPIEGEL ONLINE
Chinese workers attend a regular security briefing inside the stadium.

Chinese workers attend a regular security briefing inside the stadium.

Foto: Heike Klovert/ SPIEGEL ONLINE
Dormitories like this one can accomodate four to eight Chinese workers.

Dormitories like this one can accomodate four to eight Chinese workers.

Foto: Heike Klovert/ SPIEGEL ONLINE

This piece is part of the Global Societies series. The project runs for three years and is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.