This week’s launch of the new Lagos to Ibadan Standard Gauge Railway may be the last time for a long while that a big multibillion dollars 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, just that they’re a lot smaller, less risky, and demand air-tight feasibility studies that almost guarantee they’ll get their money back.
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