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A Chinese Chief in Africa



  The Golden Gate Group of Com-panies is an integrated conglom-erate active in many industriessuch as food and beverage, tourism, con-struction, decoration, arcbitectural mate-rial production, machinery processing,international trade, and furniture. It cur-rently owns more than ten subsidiaries,including the Golden Gate Paradise Res-taurant, Its assets total more than US$100 million, and its workforce numbers30,000 strong, including approximately150 Chinese managers and technicians.
  Some of the Group's controlled sub-sidiaries include Golden Swan Nig. Ltd.,Golden Ever Industries Ltd., Golden Ea-gle Industries Nigeria Ltd, Golden ForestInt'l Nig. Ltd, Golden Triumph Nig. Ltd.,Nigeria Golden Dragon Machinery Cor-poration, Golden Sail Wood CFTZ. Thegroup has also independently establishedthe Millennium Inn, the Golden GateHotel (Abuja), and Golden Arts Decora-tion Nig. Ltd. And in partnership withlocal merchants, the Group has set upGolden Mine Nig. Ltd. and the Six Con-tinents Travel Agency.
  Mr. Jacob Wood, Chairman of theGolden Gate Group, is not only a Chi-nese entrepreneur in Nigeria, but also aspecial economic advisor to the NigerianPresident andthee first and (atpresent) onlyChinese Chiefin African his-tory. He wasthe only Chi-nese memberof the Nigeriandelegation thatattended theChina-AfricaCooperationSummit in Bei-jing, adding tohis significancein the historyof Nigeria.
  
  From Bags to Riches
  
  "My family is originally fromShanghai, and my father previously didbusiness in Hong Kong. It is said thatpeople from Shanghai are always daringand bold wherever they may be. Whatmy father and l have done in our livesis reflective of this proverb." In 1972,Mr. Wood was part of the first batch ofworker-peasant-soldier students whenhe was in his twenties. He had a strongdesire to go to Africa ever since he wasyoung. This desire can be attributed tohis father, who went to Nigeria via HongKong in the 1950s. And it only grewstronger when his father later becamea successful textile merchant in Africa.After the Cultural Revolution, the Chi-nese government passed new policiesthat permitted the children of famedoverseas Chinese to go abroad and in-herit their family's business, and as aresult, Mr. Wood would become one ofthe first Chinese citizens to go abroadsince the formation of the New China.
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