China Affair: Ghana’s eye is wide open – Akufo-Addo

By Papisdaff Abdullah

President Akufo Addo speaking at the FinancialTIme Africa Summit.
President Akufo Addo
speaking at the Financial TIme Africa Summit.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says his administration is welcoming of any investor prepared to invest in his government’s priority areas.

According to the Ghanaian President, “we will look east, west, north and south without prejudice, but there should be no surprise if we are more welcoming to those who are prepared to invest in our priority areas.”

He made this, when he delivered a speech at the 5th edition of the Financial Times Africa Summit, on the theme “Ghana, Africa mean business.”

There are increasingly loud anxieties being expressed about the close relationships developing between China and Africa, including Ghana, and some have allegedly seen in it a real danger of a new colonization of the African continent this time by China.

However, President Akufo-Addo debunked this notion and stressed that “we are all much wiser about these things, and we are going into these new relationships with our eyes wide open. Nobody is coming, pretending to be bringing God’s Word in one hand, and taking our lands with the other.”

This time round, the President assured, “we will look after our interests, in much the same way as we know all other nations that we deal with, look after their own interests. We are not the only ones dealing with China. Everyone is dealing with China, and we are doing so with our eyes wide open.”

With a key challenge of the Ghanaian economy being its infrastructural deficit, the President indicated that his government is embarking on an aggressive public private partnership programme to attract investment in the development of both road and railway infrastructure.

“We are hopeful that, with solid private sector participation, we can develop a modern railway network with strong production centre linkages and with the potential to connect us to our neighbours to the north, i.e. Burkina Faso, to the west, i.e. Cote d’Ivoire, and to the east, i.e. Togo,” he said.

The railway sector, he stressed, “is an area where appropriate foreign technology, expertise and investment would be very welcome.”

To the participants at the forum, the President reiterated the commitment of his government to creating the space for the private sector to grow the jobs that Ghanaian youth need, and to position Ghana to take full advantage of the immense opportunities of the projected African Continental Free Trade Area.

“I am working towards building a Ghana where her people have jobs and decent livelihoods. Ghana is endowed with great potential, where security and the rule of law are upheld, and where investments are secure. We want to contribute to the global market place at the higher level of the value chain for Ghanaian products,” he added.

President Akufo-Addo added that “We want to bring greater dignity to the lives of millions of people in Ghana. We want to build a Ghana Beyond Aid, which has discarded a mindset of dependence, aid, charity and handouts, and we mean business.”

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