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A Chinese Debt Trap in Nigeria? Hardly!

Back in May, the online Nigerian financial news site Nairametrics ran an article with the frightening headline: “Nigeria is falling into China’s debt trap.” This, of course, is nothing new. Many Nigerians, along with countless others across Africa, now firmly believe that China will soon begin to seize their country’s strategic national assets because they can’t repay their debts.

This is also deeply engrained thinking in many parts of Washington’s national security community where otherwise rational, analytical people seem to take this theory on face-value without a shred of evidence to support the proposition.

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What is The China-Africa Project?


The CAP is passionately independent, non-partisan and does not advocate for any country, company or culture.


A carefully curated selection of the day’s most important China-Africa stories. Updated 24 hours a day by human editors. No bots, no algorithms.


Diverse, often unconventional insights from scholars, analysts, journalist and a variety of stakeholders in the China-Africa discourse.


A unique professional network of China-Africa scholars, analysts, journalists and other practioners from around the world.