Ghana and China have signed eight (8) Co-operation Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding, in different sectors of their respective economies, aimed at deepening the ties of co-operation and the bonds of friendship that exist between the two countries.
The agreements were signed on Saturday, 1st September, 2018, after the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and the President of the People’s Republic of China, His Excellency Mr. Xi Jinping, held bilateral talks, as part of President Akufo-Addo’s State Visit to China.
The agreements are the “One belt one road Memorandum of Understanding”, “Memorandum on Regional Aviation Co-operation”, “Agreement for Co-operation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy”, and “Co-operation to carry out Maternal and Child Health Project”.
The rest are “Framework Agreement on Financing Insurance Co-operation” ($2 billion Sino-Hydro deal), “Economic co-operation on Phase 2 project of the University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ho”, “Co-operation on the expansion of the Cape Coast Stadium”, and “Co-operation on the supply of police vehicles to the Ghana Police Service.”
Speaking with President Xi Jinping, prior to the signing of the eight (8) Agreements, President Akufo-Addo noted that the relationship between Ghana and China, over the years, have been excellent, noting that “Ghana has been a firm friend of China.”
With China, for the last three years, being Ghana’s largest trading partner, the President stated that “Chinese co-operation and investment in our economy are extremely essential” to the delivery of progress and prosperity to the Ghanaian people.
Highlighting some matters of critical concern to the country, President Akufo-Addo noted that his Government has been engaged in the fight against the menace of illegal mining, popularly referred to as galamsey, and told the Chinese President about the involvement of some Chinese nationals in the illegal activity.
He emphasised that his administration will not relent in the fight to restore the purity of Ghana’s water bodies and the health of its environment.
President Akufo-Addo urged his President Xi Jinping to intervene in the matter, stating that “we want your help fully, so that we can remove this impediment to the strong co-operation between Ghana and China.”
On the development of Ghana’s infrastructure, he also told his Chinese counterpart that Ghana is interested in receiving investments from China towards specific sectors of the economy, such as the railway and road network.
“We are thinking about a railway network that is intended to be a part of the Belt and Road Initiative, which will link our country to the Maghreb Region, and, thereby, recreate the old trade route that linked the Southern part of West Africa to North Africa,” he added.
With Ghana exiting the IMF arrangement by the end of 2018, an arrangement entered into by the predecessor administration, President Akufo-Addo stressed that “we are determined never to return into the focus of an IMF Programme.
“In order to do so, we are looking seriously at how we can secure sources of long-term finance that will allow us to deal with our infrastructural development, and also realise the vision of a Ghana Beyond Aid.”
He told President Xi Jinping that, “The Ministry of Finance and the economists in Ghana are looking at floating a $50 billion Century Bond. This will provide us with the resources to finance our infrastructural and industrial development. We are hoping that, at some stage, China will interest itself, and take a part of it as China’s contribution to Ghana’s development.”
Meeting with Chinese Premier
Later that day, President Akufo-Addo held bilateral talks with Mr. Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, where matters involving infrastructural development, communications, and oil and gas were discussed.
The President told the Chinese Premier that a significant focus of his visit to China has to do with the $2 billion Sino-Hydro transaction.
He explained that, “We are looking at this transaction to afford us the opportunity to expand and improve our road infrastructure, as well as the railway development of our country.”
President Akufo-Addo was hopeful that his visit to China will “reinvigorate our relationship, provide us with the opportunity to contribute to the success of the FOCAC summit, and also enhance the nature of the co-operation between our two countries.”
Credit: The Presidency
The President of the People’s Republic of China, His Excellency Mr. Xi Jinping, has stressed that his is prepared to work with his Ghanaian counterpart, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to ensure that relations between Ghana and China take the lead on the African continent.
According to President Xi, the “deep historic bond” between China and Ghana, nurtured by leaders such as Mao Zedong, Kwame Nkrumah and others, has resulted in “a 58-year old tradition of friendship”.
Whilst acknowledging the role of President Akufo-Addo “to the growth of China-Ghana relations”, the Chinese leader stated that, “You (President Akufo-Addo) are an old friend of the Chinese people… and I am ready to work with you.”
He was confident that, under their joint leadership, Ghana and China would “enrich our friendship, take our bonds of co-operation to new heights, and, thereby, deliver greater benefits to our two peoples.”
President Xi Jinping made this known, on Saturday, 1st September, 2018, when he held bilateral talks with President Akufo-Addo at the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing, as part of the Ghanaian President’s State Visit to China.
Describing Ghana as a “trustworthy friend and good partner for development”, the Chinese President assured President Akufo-Addo of his commitment “to intensify our co-operation, give support to each other’s concerns, and ensure that China-Ghana relations take the lead in China-Africa relations.”
To this end, the two Presidents witnessed the signing of eight (8) Agreements that define the ambit of Chinese co-operation with Ghana in the immediate years ahead. Principal amongst them was the $2 billion Sino-Sure Framework Agreement, which will enable Sino-Hyrdo Corporation, a subsidiary of Power China, to finance and participate in major infrastructure, road and railway construction projects.
President Xi Jinping also indicated that China will provide a grant of 200 million Chinese Yuan, the equivalent of $30 million, to Ghana, to assist in the effective implementation of the economic policies of President Akufo-Addo.
Additionally, the project embarked on by the Chinese government to construct 1,000 boreholes across some parts of Ghana, which will help in ensuring access to potable water, he said, will be completed.
The Chinese President also assured Ghana of China’s commitment to financing the construction of the Jamestown Fishing Port Complex, the expansion of the Cape Coast Sports Stadium, the commencement of the Phase 2 expansion project of the University of Health and Allied Sciences in Ho, and the construction of a new cocoa processing facility, in line with President Akufo-Addo’s vision of adding value to Ghana’s raw materials.
On defense co-operation, President Xi Jinping announced the provision of a 50 million Chinese Yuan ($7.3 million) grant, in military assistance, which will also aid in the construction of the headquarters of Ghana’s Armed Forces.
Furthermore, the defense co-operation, he added, will also encompasse the strengthening of Ghana’s capability to help improve maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea, training of Ghanaian peacekeepers, strengthening the capacity of Ghana’s Police Service, and the establishment of a legal assistance and extradition treaty between Ghana and China.
“Such co-operation will inure to the benefit of our two countries. We will support your country in achieving its vision of Ghana Beyond Aid,” he added.
President Xi also pledged that his government will encourage Chinese firms to invest in Ghana, and take advantage of flagship programmes such as 1-District-1-Factory, Programme for Planting for Food and Jobs, infrastructural development initiatives, particularly in the roads, railway and energy sectors, amongst others.
With Ghana being the African country with the highest number of students studying in China, the Chinese leader stated that his country will increase the number of scholarships to Ghana, and also advocated for the deepening of collaboration between media organisations, think tanks, and universities of the two countries.
President Xi Jinping, in highlighting the importance of UN Reforms, urged Ghana to continue its advocacy on the reform of the matter and reiterated China’s support to this end.
On the matter of illegal mining in Ghana, and the involvement of some Chinese nationals in the phenomenon, the Chinese President assured President Akufo-Addo that his government will “co-operate with Ghana and tackle the problem”, and indicated his full acceptance of the enforcement of Ghanaian law in the area of illegal mining.
The Chinese President stressed the endorsement by his Government of the vision of building a Ghana Beyond Aid by President Akufo-Addo, and urged his Ghanaian counterpart to be resolute in realizing this vision not only for Ghana, but also for the entire African continent, as it would lead to the growth of independent, sovereign nations, acting in their own interests and with their own resources, which was the example of China.
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