Government is seeking to leverage Ghana’s natural resources, specifically bauxite, through its recent partnership with the Chinese government that saw the latter pledge to commit over 15 billion dollars to Ghana’s economy.
According to the Economic Adviser to the Vice President, Dr. Gideon Boako, government through the agreement will construct bauxite refineries which will generate enough income to settle the loan.
“… Ghana told the government of China that we are not coming here for loans. We also told them since our tax revenues are not quite enough to be able to raise the kind of money in the short-term, we want to form strategic alliance with China and they agreed. We told them we have a lot of mineral resources so we want to build the railways along the lines of the mineral resources so that we can cart the bauxite and everything. If we are able to get the bauxite out of the ground and we refine the bauxite, that alone is going to generate an export value around 460 billion dollars” Dr. Boako explained.
He further clarified that, the agreement between the two countries was not “a loan from China to Ghana but a join venture.”Justifying government’s decision to accept China’s offer, Dr. Boako said “Government has been looking out for opportunities that it can explore to make sure that this stream is realized and part of the avenues to get this is to form strategic alliances with countries who have been able to get there so that we can learn from experiences and also tap into the kind of goodies that they have. Globally, China has the second largest economy in the world. Ghana was among the first group of Sub-Saharan African countries that established diplomatic relations with China, and the two countries have enjoyed decades of strong ties so if you are developing a nation you would want to align yourself with those who have made it.”
“China, if you look at its economic performance globally, is now the centre stage and that is why today, you will see big automobile and telecommunication companies setting up plants in China. The global company is moving towards China and America. They have the technology, resources etc so you want to tap into that so at the invitation of the China government, the President asked the Vice President to lead a Ghanaian delegation to China to try to have conversations with the people of China to see how best we can develop our two nations together.”
The offer from the Chinese government was made during the Vice President’s four-day official visit to the country, at the invitation of the Chinese government.
It is the first by a high level government official since the New Patriotic Party took office in January 2017.
Dr. Bawumia led a delegation of Ministers and government officials to the Asian country in a quest to deepen diplomatic and economic ties, as well as create opportunities for Ghanaian businesses to form partnerships with their Chinese counterparts.