An update on Chinese lending in Africa


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This week’s launch of the new Lagos to Ibadan Standard Gauge Railway may be the last time for a long while that a multibillion-dollar infrastructure project like this is built in Africa using Chinese loans. Chinese development finance lending in Africa and elsewhere throughout the Global South has cratered in recent years and it appears that Beijing has, at least for now, lost interest in loaning vast sums of money to poor countries to build infrastructure.

To be sure, Chinese creditors are still making loans, but they’re a lot smaller and less risky. On top of that, creditors demand air-tight feasibility studies that almost guarantee they’ll get their money back.

Zainab Usman, the Africa program director at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, is closely following Chinese overseas finance trends to study the impact on the continent. She joins Eric and Cobus from Washington to discuss her latest analysis, which explores five key takeaways on Chinese lending in Africa.