Vice-President Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has stated that the Chinese investment in the Ghanaian economy is not a loan, aid or hand-out.
“We sought to leverage less than five per cent of our bauxite deposits to unlock close to $20 billion,” he told participants attending a two-day conference on the theme: “Building resilient industries and infrastructure for economic transformation in Africa: The role of China”.
Dr Bawumia said there was so much discussion going on over the Chinese investment, with some describing it as a loan.
The conference is being organised by the Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG), in partnership with the Chinese Embassy, in Accra.
Rationalising the government’s bilateral agreement with China, he said Ghana had about 460 tonnes of bauxite reserves and, therefore, it was only prudent to use some of it to source for the needed funds for development, particularly when borrowing options were restricted for the country which had a high debt-to-Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio.
He said the charge given by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to the team that visited China was not to beg but to leverage with China as equals.
Dr Bawumia described the arrangement as a new financing model in which the country would use its rich natural resources to seek funding needed for the transformation envisaged.
“Under the new model, we are not borrowing money from China.…it is a win-win situation for all. We are proposing a joint venture with China, where we bring a fraction of our reserves, less than five per cent of our bauxite reserves, and they provide close to $20 billion,” he said.
He urged Ghanaians to pay attention to data regarding China’s assistance to Africa, instead of propaganda, since available statistics consistently ranked China among the first five countries that gave assistance to Ghana.
He further urged Ghanaians to have a clearly defined focus on their development agenda and how it was to be realised, since, undoubtedly, “China is clear about its vision and strategy”.
The Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, Ms Sun Baohang, said China was resolute in its support for Africa and was optimistic that its engagement with the continent would grow stronger, in spite of challenges.
The Executive Director of IDEG, Dr Emmanuel Akwetey, said it was pertinent that the country took the opportunity to share local experiences with China and learned from that country’s transformational development in order for Ghana to improve on its public service and economy.