Nigeria breaks through trade bottlenecks with BRI

By WANG XIAODONG in Lagos, Nigeria | China Daily Global | Updated: 2023-10-16 09:38
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Local employees display rice seedlings they have picked at the Nigerian Agricultural Technology Demonstration Center in Abuja, Nigeria, on Sept 19. XINHUA

Common community

Against the backdrop of the more turbulent international situation in recent years, the BRI, which promotes the building of a common community for mankind with a shared future, has more special significance in that it promotes global integration and economic stabilization, which serve the interests of the international community, especially the developing countries, he said.

Charles Onunaiju, director of the Center for China Studies, in Abuja, Nigeria, said the BRI has greatly increased connectivity in Nigeria and the whole of Africa over the past 10 years, and promoted integration between different countries on the continent.

"Today we can see connectivity across Africa, whether it is the first electric railway from Ethiopia to Djibouti, the railway from the port of Mombasa to Nairobi or from Lagos to Ibadan and Abuja to Kaduna in Nigeria and all over Africa," he said.

"Previously, to travel to South Africa from Nigeria, one had to travel to Europe first. To travel to West Africa from East Africa, one had to go to Paris or London before connecting to a country like Nigeria," he said, adding that today, air, road and port connectivity in Africa are becoming a reality, thanks to the BRI.

In addition to increasing connectivity through major infrastructure projects, the BRI has also brought numerous opportunities for the local people, Onunaiju said.

Although some countries such as the United States have also proposed cooperation initiatives to Africa, what is different about the BRI is it is consultative and practical, he said.

"There is no time in Africa's history that the continent has had a partner that is both willing and able as now with China. In the past, we have had partners who were willing and not able, or able but not willing," he said.

"In my opinion, the BRI will remain relevant to humanity because it offers us a practical road map to realizing our dreams by offering us a platform to realize a shared future. So as far as humanity moves along the line of collective aspiration, concern for collective security and enduring peace, and sustainable development, the BRI will remain relevant in the drive to accomplish these goals."

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