After its independence in 1960, Nigeria’s attitude and approach towards China were particularly “lukewarm”, “unfriendly” and “cautious.” This, no doubt, stalled the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries for over a decade. However, amity gradually blossomed in the mid-1990s, and assumed a dimension, when in 2006, China and Nigeria signed a Strategic Partnership Agreement covering multidimensional fields of cooperation. Nigeria, since its transition to democratic rule in 1999, has increasingly turned to the East, and there is no gainsaying that China has gained a strong foothold in the country. In May 2020, a clause in Article 8 (1) of the 2018 commercial loan agreement signed between the Nigerian government and the Export-Import Bank of China caused the Lawmakers in Nigeria’s House of Representatives to raise an alarm that Nigeria might soon “concede its sovereignty” to China if the Nigerian government does not proceed with caution. While Nigerians continue to express their concerns over China’s “economic exploitation”, in February 2021 (when both countries marked the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations), the Charge d’Affaires of the Peoples Republic China in Nigeria, Mr. Zhao Yong in an article published in Nigeria’s Daily Trust Newspaper on February 10, 2021, titled, “the Next Glorious 50 Years of China-Nigeria Relations” asserted that China is “working” to push forward the development of China-Nigeria strategic partnership, and to build a stronger and closer community with a shared future. This lecture, drawing on past studies on China’s growing interests in Nigeria, would try to provide some explanations on the relevance or otherwise of both countries’ Strategic Partnership Agreement in an increasingly “tensed” atmosphere. It would guide participants to possibly make sense of why the strategic partnership agreement matters (or does not matter) at this time.
Adaora Osondu-Oti is a Professor of International Relations at Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), Nigeria. She is currently a visiting fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study, CEU, where she is working on a project titled, “Conditional Cash Transfer as a Poverty Reduction Strategy in Nigeria: A Gender Perspective.” She specializes in China-Africa (Nigeria) relations. Her Ph.D. dissertation assessed China’s growing relations with Nigeria and the implications for Nigeria’s economic and political development. Prof. Osondu-Oti also has an interest in gender studies, where she is investigating the status of women in contemporary Nigerian society to ascertain the possibility of reducing gender inequality in Nigeria by 2030. Prof. Osondu-Oti is the current Chair of the Afe Babalola University Sexual Harassment Prohibition Committee. Since 2017, she has been the Facilitator of the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) Youth Program on Gender and Development in Nigeria. She received the Carnegie Endowment Scholarship for female Postgraduate Students in 2008. Prof. Osondu-Oti has some publications on China-Africa (Nigeria) relations and gender-related subjects in Nigeria. Examples of her published works include China and Africa: Human Rights Perspective; Off and On: China’s Principle of Non-Interference in Africa; COVID-19 Pandemic and the “Politics” of China’s Soft Power Diplomacy: Analysis of China’s COVID-19 Aid to Nigeria; Testing an “All-Weather Friendship”: China and Africa After Covid; Africa and the Challenges of Western Backlash against Globalisation: Can China Provide a Safety Net for Africa; China-Nigeria Contemporary relations: Is Crude Oil the Driving Force?; Challenges to the Fundamental Rights of Women in the Niger Delta; Implications of Media Sexualization of Young Women in Contemporary African Society; Success Penalty in the Marriage Market for Nigerian Women; Women, Conflict and Nigeria’s Sustainable Development Agenda, among others. Prof. Osondu-Oti is the Head of the Department of International Relations and Diplomacy at Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria. She is the Editor-in-chief of the Journal of Contemporary International Relations and Diplomacy (JCIRD). Prof. Osondu-Oti was promoted to the position of Professor of International Relations and Diplomacy in November 2021.
Meeting ID: 950 7372 7560