Skip to navigationSkip to content

The Covid-19 pandemic is changing China’s playbook in Africa

Pedestrians pass by a construction site of Lagos Rail Mass Transit system in Lagos in 2013.
Reuters/Joe Penney
Terms under construction.
  • Jackie Bischof
By Jackie Bischof

Talent Lab editor

Published Last updated on

At the beginning of April this year, as Nigeria was scrambling to track coronavirus cases and dealing with tanking oil prices, a rare spot of good economic news made headlines: A deep sea port project under construction in Lagos, financed by the China Development Bank and African Development Bank, was to receive a $221 million equity investment injection from the China Harbour Engineering Company. The company is one of several shareholders in the project, along with the Nigerian Ports Authority.

For Yunnan Chen, a senior researcher in development and public finance at the Overseas Development Institute who specializes in China-Africa relations, the port is illustrative of the ways in which Africa’s relationship with China was changing prior to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The monolithic idea of the China-Africa relationship that arose in the 2000s is becoming more nuanced these days,” Chen says. “We’re seeing more long-term participation of Chinese companies in these infrastructure projects, rather than the previously more ‘turn-key, build it, turn it over to the government model’ that much of African infrastructure was previously constructed through.”

Enrich your perspective. Embolden your work. Become a Quartz member.

Your membership supports our mission to make business better as our team of journalists provide insightful analysis of the global economy and helps you discover new approaches to business. Unlock this story and all of Quartz today.

Membership includes:

Quartz Japanへの登録をご希望の方はこちらから。