Nothing is free

That’s it. A final 5 a.m. taxi to the Lusaka airport. As usual, more quality taxi driver banter. 

Me: “My, it sure seems like every significant road in Lusaka (capitol) is under construction. All being doubled in size, or more.”

Taxi man: “Yes. All being done by the Indians. Indian President Modi visited here a year ago and saw Indians and Zambians living peacefully together and pledged to build all the roads and bridges infrastructure for free!* No money goes through the Zambian government. All the companies doing the work are Indian contractors but unlike the Chinese, they employ Zambian workers. And one other thing. Look how good the road quality is. The Indian companies put a solid concrete layer under the asphalt much different than when the Chinese came and built roads. They used their own people as workers and just put asphalt on the gravel roads. Poor quality.”

A lot of quality information is layered in that vignette.
* nothing is ever free

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