China’ largest railway constructor, China Railway Construction Corp. (CRCC) has bagged two big infrastructure projects in Africa worth $5.5 billion, Chinese news agency Xinhua said on Tuesday.These include a $3.506 billion contract for an inter-city railway project in Nigeria, the Nigeria Ogun State Intercity Mass transit Project. The railway is 334 kilometres long with a designed speed of 120 km per hour.Financing for the rail project is not yet finalized. However, local media reports earlier this month said China will reportedly allocate $62 billion of its foreign exchange reserves to three state-owned “policy banks” in order to support its New Silk Road project, aimed at creating infrastructure links with foreign markets.The People’s Bank of China will direct $32 billion to China Development Bank (CDB) and $30 billion to Export-Import Bank of China (EXIM), Caixin magazine said in a report on its website. The Nigerian project further cements the company’s leading role in the Nigerian construction industry, and is also a milestone in the “going global” of Chinese railway, said Meng Fengchao, board chairman of CRCC. The Chinese company also won a $1.93 billion residential construction project in Zimbabwe. Chinese President Xi Jinping had met his Zimbabwean counterpart, Robert Mugabe, last week in Indonesia on the sidelines of the Asian-African Summit. The infrastructure deals were inked ahead of the upcoming sixth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. CRCC China-Africa Construction LTD, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CRCC, is now the largest rail transit contractor in Africa. TBP and Agencies
China is working to revive the Silk Road, an ancient trading route that connected Asia to Europe. Recently it has been considering major deals with Pakistan and Russia Both are part of the so-called ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative to boost trade and communication with Russia and Europe.