China has not hidden its interest in Ghana in particular and Africa in general. Indeed, bilateral relations between Ghana and China became stronger during the First Republic when Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was President of Ghana.
In the first half of 2009, China invested about $552 million directly in Africa raising China’s direct investment in Africa to 81% from the same period in 2008.
And trade between Ghana and China has grown over the years. In 2005 trade between the two countries was $769 million.
Trade between the two countries has blossomed over the years, with China benefitting most.
Ghana’s exports to China totalled only $25 million with imports of $93 million in the year 2000. Exports grew to $32 million in 2003 with imports of $180 million. In 2006, the figure went up to $39 million for exports while imports surged to $504 million.
China recently gave Ghana some undisclosed financial support to be used to develop infrastructure for the country’s nascent oil industry.
On Wednesday December 30, 2009 China granted Ghana two concessional financial facilities totalling 100 million Chinese yuan, approximately $14.65 million.
And on the same day the first batch of an 11-member Chinese medical team arrived in Ghana for a two-year medical mission.
The six-member medical team, which includes experts in cardiology, anesthesiology, neurology and urology, is the first batch of the 11-member medical team. Its members were selected from hospitals in Guangzhou, capital of the southern Chinese province of Guangdong.
China has also offered to rebuild Ghana’s Foreign Affairs offices after it was razed down last year.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi