27 September 2018

Ghana: Forging Relations With China Not Uniquely Ghanaian or African - President Akufo-Addo

press release

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said at the United Nations that Ghana's forging relations with China, like many countries in Africa, is not uniquely Ghanaian or African phenomenon as expressed by many that fear about the possibility of China recolonizing it.

The Ghanaian President said rich, well-established, and some advanced countries had paid, and continue to pay regular visits to China, to seek to open new economic ties and improve upon existing ones.

At the turn of the 20th century, President Akufo-Addo said, China's first railways were built by Western companies and financed with Western loans to a "nearly bankrupt Qing Dynasty."

Under those circumstances, he said, "a certain strategic port called Hong Kong was leased for 99 years, and the rest as the saying goes, is history."

Addressing the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly, on Wednesday, September 26, 2018, President Akufo-Addo stated that the historical echoes, were worrisome, but urged those expressing those concerns to learn from history.

"Today, the former victim of Western Railways imperialism is lending billions to countries throughout Asia, Africa and Europe to construct not only railroads, but also highways, ports, power plants and other infrastructure and many businesses."

To this end, President Akufo-Addo acknowledged Ghana's efforts at getting her population educated and trained, stressing that, "it was urgently imperative that it addressed her infrastructural deficit."

He said the traditional methods of tackling those problems, could not provide the answer, as Ghana was looking for new ways to resolve them.

"We, in Ghana, must build roads, bridges, railways, ports, schools, hospitals and we must create jobs to keep our young people engaged. It is obvious to us that the mode of development trajectory we had been on for many decades is not working. We are trying a different one, and we would appreciate the support and goodwill of the world, especially in helping to stem the huge flow of illicit funds from the continent," he added.

President Akufo-Addo said it was exigent and in everybody's interest that countries counted amongst the poor made rapid transformation from poverty to prosperity.

"We are determined in Ghana, and increasingly, in more and more parts of Africa, to chart our own paths to prosperity and pay our own way in the world. We are no longer interested in being a burden on others.

"We will shoulder our own responsibilities and build societies and nations that will be attractive to our youth. We have the necessary sense of enterprise, creativity, innovation and hard work to engineer this transition. Hence, our vision of a Ghana Beyond Aid, indeed, of an Africa Beyond Aid," he added.

Recent socio-political and economic discourse that had become more tactful than before, coupled with the strategic partnership between China - Ghana/Africa, a lot of anxiety have been expressed about the possibility of a recolonization of the African continent by China.

Source: ISD (Rex Mainoo Yeboah)


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