President Muhammadu Buhari met with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday during the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).
The forum, which will last from December 4th-5th, is hosted by South Africa in the city of Johannesburg. The talks between Presidents Buhari and Xinping took place on the “sidelines” of the forum, according to Channels TV.
President Buhari arrived in Johannesburg on Thursday. According to an email announcement by Presidential Spokesman, Garba Shehu, the President wished to discuss Chinese funding for several stalled rail projects in Nigeria.
“Of particular interest is the coastal railway project stretching for 1,402 kilometers linking Lagos in the west with Calabar in the east; a project that is expected to be financed with a $12 billion Chinese loan and which will create 200,000 jobs,” Mr. Shehu noted in his email.
During the forum, President Jinping announced that his government plans to provide over $60 billion in loans and assistance to the African continent. The announcement comes on the heels of China’s slowing economic growth, a development which has had a profound impact upon the African continent’s economy.
According to Bloomberg News, trade between China and Africa dropped by 18 percent in the first 9 months of 2015.