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China’s non-interference mantra was corroborated by Nigerian President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua today, as he called for African solutions to African problems. Despite exhaustive attention form western political organs and media outlets, Yar’Adua states that the only welcome deliberation on theZimbabwe and DR Congo crises, is that of the African Union (AU) and South African Development Community (SADC). China has been criticized in western media for its refusal to intervene in the internal affairs of troubled African states, but its stress on sovereignty and non interference has proved popular within African states, constantly buffeted by the demands of western institutions.

China’s Keynesian spending plan has proved a boon for African countries, often harboring higher than average exposure to commodity prices. The $600bn round of spending on domestic infrastructure and social programs has buttressed falling oil and metals prices much to the relief of Africa’s many commodity exporters.

China’s infrastructure development program in Africa was thrown into doubt last week after the Nigerian Federal Government suspended its $8.3bn dollar Lagos-Kano railways development. This had been China’s flagship project plunging other projects on the continent into uncertainty. However the Lagos Free Trade area seems safe for now. Last week it was reported that China planned to set up a further five free trade areas (10 in total) and in today’s news it emerged that the deep water port, opening up West Africa to Suezmax and Panamax class shipping had been approved by the ports authority. Meanwhile in Uganda the China Road and Bridge Corporation was chosen to rehabilitate the Soroti- Lira Road.

It looks as if China might face competition form the World Bank in fundingNigeria’s infrastructure redevelopment as it today offered Nigeria a $3bn lending facility for improvement of its dilapidated network. This may represent a repost from the western financial institutions as it has become increasingly toothless in the face of no strings attached preferential loans from Chinese banks.

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