Chinese firm announces $5.5bn worth of African deals in one week

State-owned China Railway Construction Corp Ltd (CRCC) has signed two deals worth a combined $5.5bn for construction projects in Africa, Chinese news agency Xinhua reported this week, as the country’s railway firms increasingly flex their muscle overseas.

CRCC’s China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) unit will work on a $3.5bn intercity railway line in Nigeria’s southwestern Ogun state, Xinhua said, citing the area’s state governor, Ibikunle Amosun.

CCECC also signed a $1.93bn deal to build a residential construction project in Zimbabwe, Xinhua added.

The Magamba 2015 housing project was awarded by the Zimbabwe Ministry of Local Government, Public Works & National Housing.

Zimbabwe currently has a national housing backlog of around 1.25 million, with over half of that estimated to be in the capital and most populous city of Harare.

It is not yet known where the houses will be built.

Beijing is pushing to make its firms more competitive globally, with an ongoing merger of the country’s top two train-makers set to create a $26bn behemoth that will be able to compete with international rivals.

Meng Fengchao, the board chairman of CRCC, told Xinhua the deals were a milestone in the "going global" strategy of China’s railway firms.

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