The Acting Director for the Centre for Asian Studies at the University of Ghana, Dr. Lloyd Adu Amoah has indicated the imperative need for Ghana to have a broader strategic plan in its dealings with China in order to reach agreements in the best interest of Ghanaians.
In an interview at the end of the second edition of the Citi Business Forum Dr Amoah said that with the current Ghana-China relationship, the country isn’t getting enough out of it, and more needs to be done.
“We could possibly extract more and we should accept that we have not extracted more in terms of very practical things,” he said.
He called for more collaboration in order to stretch the way in which the country looks at the Chinese, that we could extract more.
Citing some important past dealings with China, in projects like the construction of Bui Dam, and now the Bauxite, Dr Amoah said there are other great areas that matter, which the country hasn’t really put in the much needed efforts.
As at 2017, more than 5,500 Ghanaian students were studying in China. He therefore questioned “when we send our students there, which particular sectors do we think the Chinese have an advantage and therefore we send our students to get such information.”
Ghana’s deal with China will inject US$2 billion into the Ghanaian economy, which will be targeted at infrastructural development as part of the government plans to increase economic growth.
In return, Ghana will have to repay with the proceeds of refined bauxite sales from a plant that is due to be commissioned and completed within three years.
While the construction of the projects will start right away, payments are deferred for the three years and will be made in equal instalments over the deal’s remaining 12-year period.
Ghana has requested proposals for a joint venture to build the refinery, which is estimated to cost US$300 million.
In all of the country’s dealings with China, Dr. Amoah stressed that government should go beyond a partisan interest, and rather engage in broader discussions and arrive at policies that will benefit Ghanaians.
By Joshua W. Amlanu