China, Ghana relationship must take the lead in Africa – Xi Jinping
Chinese President Mr. Xi Jinping, has stated his preparedness to work with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to ensure that relations between Ghana and China take the lead on the African continent.
He said that 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”.
Speaking on Saturday in Beijing during bilateral talks between him and President Akufo-Addo who is on State Visit to China, Mr Xi Jinping acknowledged the role of President Akufo-Addo “to the growth of China-Ghana relations”, stating, “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.”
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 takes the lead in China-Africa relations.”
To this end, the two Presidents witnessed the signing of eight Agreements that defined 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 would 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 to ensure access to potable water, would 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 defence co-operation, President Xi Jinping announced the provision of a 50 million Chinese Yuan ($7.3 million) grant, in military assistance, which would also aid in the construction of the headquarters of Ghana’s Armed Forces.
Furthermore, the defence co-operation, he added, would also encompass 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 would 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 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 illegal mining in Ghana, and the involvement of some Chinese nationals in the phenomenon, the Chinese President assured President Akufo-Addo that his government would “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 realising 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.