Repository Africa in the Evolving “Chinese Century”: The Uneven Sino–Nigerian Water Conservation Partnership

Adebusuyi Isaac Adeniran


Although extant reconstruction of the limits of international development practice has been implicated in the budding involvement of China in Africa, debates on China’s actual intents and prospects have continued to rage. Engaging an exploratory design and a political-ecology approach, which affirms the significance of human factors in contextualising, structuring, and contesting the natural world, this study assesses specific short-term and long-term outcomes of China’s Gansu-modelled water conservation project in Kano, Nigeria. The shared ecological interface between China and Nigeria has facilitated transfer of relevant technology to the Guinea and Sahel regions in Northern Nigeria. Chinese involvement in the Nigerian water/agricultural sector has resulted in improved indigenous farmers’ skills, yields, and incomes. Sustaining the trend of ongoing intervention would imply a significant boost to Nigeria’s drive towards self-reliance, though a long-term cleavage towards such Chinese interventions might eventually imply neo-dependency.

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