Tales of Hope, Tastes of Bitterness: A Conversation with Miriam Driessen

October 25, 2019

Made in China Journal

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How is China’s success in Africa experienced by those who work on the Chinese-run construction sites that have emerged across the continent? In Tales of Hope, Tastes of Bitterness (Hong Kong University Press 2019), Miriam Driessen follows the lives of Chinese road builders in Ethiopia to reveal the friction of Chinese-led development on the ground. Workers’ hopes of transforming Africa and Africans and their expectations of gratitude remain unmet, as Ethiopian labourers and state entities challenge their work, expertise, and goodwill. Unravelling the intricate dimensions of Ethiopian-Chinese encounters, this book shows how power structures are contested and reshaped on and along the building site.