Still a long way from a dominant yuan. Despite growing enthusiasm about the yuan, it is not likely to replace the dollar as the most important reserve currency for years. China does not sell bonds, making it difficult for outside investors to accurately price the value of the currency. It also undervalues its currency. This makes it cheaper for consumers to buy Chinese products, but obscures the actual strength of the Chinese economy.
But with America and Europe stuck in the economic doldrums, the Chinese yuan is an attractive option for African countries looking for growth.
"The fragility of the European and American economies at the moment has something to do with Nigeria's decision," Downie said. " It's a reasonable response to spread assets as far as possible."