Tchososola Codista, unlike most of her Portugese-spoken Angolan colleagues, speaks fluent English. And she is not shy away from sharing her feelings of working in a Chinese company.
The 25-year-girl from an impoverished town near the capital Luanda was one of the three Angolan female workers in a harbor construction project of China Harbor Engineering Cooperation (CHEC) .
"I do treasure this job in CHEC though I only work as a kitchen helper, it's not easy to find a job in Luanda," Codista said.
According to a report by the African Development Bank, social indicators have not kept pace with the strong economy of the Africa's second biggest oil producer, with about 36 percent of the population living below the poverty line and unemployment rate standing high at 26 percent.
The government has taken steps to improve living conditions with huge investment in infrastructure.
Luanda, one of the best natural harbors in South-Western Africa, has become one of the best shipping terminals in the sub-region after years of rehabilitation by the China Harbor Engineering Cooperation (CHEC) and other international civil engineering companies with investments from the Angolan government.
CHEC entered the Angolan post-war reconstruction market in 2006 and had built or rehabilitated 16 harbors along the 1,650- kilometer Atlantic coastal lines of the African country with a total investment of 1.45 billion U.S. dollars from the Angolan government. Currently, the Chinese company was laying seabed petroleum pipe lines at the Luanda harbor with the help of local workforce.
"Currently half of our workers are Angolans and the local manpower has become an indispensable part of our project in Luanda, " said Feng Jian, Manager of the CHEC Luanda harbor project which employed over 300 people.
The Angolan workers work and living together with fellow Chinese workers and CHEC paid for their frocks, food, accommodation, social security insurances as part the company's efforts to integrate into the local society and long-term development plan in the African country, Feng Jian said.
The manager said his company was not only committed to actively participating in the reconstruction process of Angola, but also to spreading Chinese entrepreneurial culture and management skills as well as creating more jobs for local people, which was a primary concern for the Angolan government.
"Most of the Angolan workers felt they were respected in the CHEC Luanda harbor project, and most of them have become skillful workers in the harbor project as well as the main bread earners of their families," Feng Jian said, adding Angolan workers used the same dining hall and the same playground with their fellow Chinese workers.
Some of the local workers joined Chinese volunteers of the company to collect dustbins at the Luanda harbor during weekends to protect the environment of the capital city though the work was not paid at all, Feng Jian said.