文| 本森·阿福尔（Benson Afful ） 加纳《商业金融时报》记者 翻译| 齐晓彤
Ghana has concluded a US$2billion bauxite deal with Sinohydro Group Limited after a meeting between President Nana Akufo-Addo and China’s President Xi Jinping during the Beijing summit of Forum on China Africa Cooperation in September. The barter trade deal would be in exchange for alumina processed from bauxite deposits in the Ghana for a facility of US$2 billion from Sinohydro Group Limited for infrastructural development.
Sinohydro Group Limited is expected to provide US$2 billion of infrastructure including roads, bridges, interchanges, hospitals, housing, rural electrification, in exchange for Ghana’s refined bauxite.
It is expected that over 53 major infrastructural projects are to be executed across the country with about US$500 million, being the first tranche of the US$2 billion Chinese deal.
The deal has been described as game-changer, and President Akufo-Addo’s visit to China has finanlised the deal to pave way for the projects to start in the coming weeks. According to reports, several first-class roads, including dual carriages and overpasses, are to be constructed by Akufo-Addo administration.
Speaking to Ghanaians living in China during his visit, President Akufo-Addo said: “I have finally concluded the barter trade deal agreement with President Xi during our meeting.” He said this is a new source of funding that will be used to boost Ghana’s infrastructure in the area of roads, hospitals, schools among others. He added that it was agreed as part of the deal that the bauxite will not be exported in it raw state but will be refined in the country before export.
President Akufo-Addo said Ghana wants to chart a new path of adding value to it natural resources through industrialization so the era where the country export it natural resources is over. “We will insist that the raw materials are process before it is exported out of the country,” he said. He assured the Ghanaians in Diaspora that his government is still committed to the fight against illegal mining as it is unacceptable to see the country’s environment and water bodies polluted by the activities of illegal miners.
He said he is aware some of these activities involve some Chinese nationals and so in his meeting with President Xi he raised it and that he was satisfied with the response he got from the Chinese president.“Am very happy in the manner President Xi responded. He recognized that the Ghanaian laws have every right to deal with people who engage in illegal activities.
According to President Akufo-Addo Ghana recognize the effort of Chinese contribution into Ghana’s infrastructural development, saying the laws will protect every Chinese who is doing a legitimate business in Ghana.
“We welcome Chinese investment in our economy, china is the largest trading partner of Ghana, and they have made significant contribution in Ghana’s infrastructural development. So we have no problem with Chinese investment in Ghana but we do have a problem with those who engage in illegal mining.”
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.
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
According to President Xi such co-operation will inure to the benefit of the two countries.
President Xi said China will also support President Akufo Addo’s vision of building a ‘Ghana Beyond Aid,” He said his government will encourage Chinese firms to invest in Ghana, and take advantage of Ghana government’s 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.