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Nigeria’s China Moment

Chinese President Xi Jinping attends a signing ceremony with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari (not pictured) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on April 12, 2016. Muhammadu Buhari is on a visit to China from April 11 to 15. KENZABURO FUKUHARA / POOL / AFP

The current anti-Chinese sentiment in Nigeria is a fascinating sign of the times, but I’m a it baffled about what it signals. I don’t know enough about Nigerian society to be able to unpack it in detail. However, it seems like a symptom that China’s narrative of south-south development solidarity may be falling apart.

Whatever battles one might pick with the pervasive misinformation in the country’s coverage of Chinese lending, the wider implication is clear: the story of ‘us against the global north’ China was able to tell in Africa in the past appears to be losing its power. Instead, the debate seems to indicate a shift towards grappling with what a new global landscape shaped by a Chinese superpower will look like.

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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.


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