President Nana Akufo-Addo will next year visit China to follow up on some commitments made by the Chinese government to invest over 20 billion dollars in Ghana’s economy, Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta has announced He explains that the purpose of the visit will also discuss bilateral trade issues with the government of China on government’s new policy of allowing the private sector to lead economic growth and development.
The Finance Minister made the announcement after Ghana signed an agreement with China under the Forum on China-Africa Corporation (FOCAC) to benefit from a 60 billion credit facility earmarked for the African continent.
Speaking at a short ceremony after signing the agreement, Mr. Ofori Atta assured that government is committed to accessing the funds to exploit Ghana’s bauxite reserve for economic development.
“We both recognize the historical point in time that we are and our president has committed to a renew engagement and has agree to go to China for a visit next year following up to what our vice president did so the two of us are working to the details of this relationship,” he said.
He added that the mining of the mineral resource is interlinked with other infrastructural development such as the construction of railway network as well as other factories under the one-district, one factory project.
Mr. Ofori Atta further stated that the Chinese side is willing to provide over the medium term, the necessary financial support in electricity, transportation, telecommunications, municipal construction and education among others under the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Corporation (FOCAC).
“Chinese financial institutions will also establish business relationship, exchange information with the Ghana Export-Import Bank and other financial institutions in order to provide service for the further development of bilateral trade and economic cooperation,” he observed.
Dr. Bawumia’s visit to China
In June 2017, The Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has announced that the government of China has committed 20 billion dollars worth of investment to Ghana.
Dr. Bawumia pointed out that Ghana was able to secure the commitment due to new financing model designed by the Economic Management Team.
Speaking to journalists after returning from a four-day visit to the Peoples Republic of China, Dr. Bawumia stated that there is an outstanding 4 billion dollars deal that will be concluded soon.
“The Peoples Republic of China and the State and Private Sector Enterprises have together committed to support the economic transformation agenda of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. So far the commitment that we received in China before leaving amounted to 15 billion dollars,” he disclosed.
“There is a possibility that within the next month or so there are some discussion that we couldn’t conclude and another 4 billion dollars will be added to that. Of course, we will follow these through,” he added.
Dr. Bawumia stated that the government’s goodwill appealed to many investors such that the private sectorin China were eager to invest in Ghana.
“At various meetings during the 4 day visit, leading Chinese companies and agencies of the government of China signed these MoU totaling about 15 billion. In the area of industrilisation for example the China National Building Materials Equipment Export and Import Cooperation signed a facility with the Private Sector led by the Association of Ghana Industries,” he said.
Dr. Bwumia debunks compromise
Meanwhile, Dr. Bawumia refuted assertions that the commitments to invest 15 billion dollars in Ghana’s economy will compromise the fight against galamsey.
He downplayed possible concerns the support Ghana is getting from China could compromise efforts against illegal mining, of which Chinese nationals are known to be heavily engaged in.
According to him, China is happy with Ghana’s clamp down on illegal mining, which has seen a significant number of Chinese nationals in Ghana arrested. “The issue of Galamsey is not a China matter. The issue is a galamsey matter and we deal with anybody who is involved in galamsey per our laws and the Chinese are very happy with us enforcing our laws,” the vice president stated.
“They [the Chinese] won’t tell us how to enforce our laws as we can’t tell them how to enforce their laws and I think the fight against galamsey is no respecter of persons regardless of where you come from… you are going to be dealt with the same.”
He added that, the Chinese “are very supportive of us dealing with the galamsey issue as per our laws and our laws are doing a wonderful job so far… I don’t think there is any link between the fight against galamsey and our support from China. China wants us to do the right thing.”
Chinese involvement with the state has been looked on with suspicion from the public given Chinese nationals have gained notoriety for involvement in illegal mining activities, with a significant number of them currently dealing with cases in the court of law.
High-profile donations made to the police and Attorney General’s office from Chinese, were met with criticism from the public with fears the donations could comprise law enforcement stakeholders.
These concerns are not without merit given that a former Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, revealed pressure was put on him from Chinese officials in Ghana when he tried to fight against illegal mining. According to Inusah Fusseini, the former Chinese Ambassador tried different methods to get him to ease up on the fight against illegal miners within the small-scale mining sector.