The Chairman of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Edmund Dell, has said that the vision of Ghana’s first President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah for the country to be self-reliant has been abandoned.
In a thinly-veiled criticism of the two-billion-dollar bauxite deal between the Ghana government and China, Edmund Delle said the country had instead become reliant on aid from other countries that Ghana should ideally have been competing with.
President Akufo Addo during a recent visit to China announced a number of deals signed between Ghana and China, including a two-billion bauxite barter deal to mine the commodity in Ghana.
The agreement was sealed with the Chinese government to sell Ghana’s bauxite to the East-Asian nation’s Sinohydro Group Limited and in return receive $2 billion to undertake infrastructural projects in the country [Ghana].
However, some economists and the Minority in Parliament are opposed to the deal calling on the government to classify it as a loan.
According to Dr. Delle, Ghana could have exceeded or at least matched the successes of countries like China had more focus been placed on developing the capacities of local businesses and entrepreneurs.
Speaking at an event to mark 109 years since the birth of Dr. Nkrumah, he added that institutions like the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), had strayed from the original vision for the establishment of the institution, further stifling Ghana’s innovative capabilities.
“The first pillar of the CPP is self-reliance. At the time that we started, we could have even beaten China and Korea. Look at KNUST, they were supposed to be thinking about cars and other inventions. What has happened to the University now? They are lawyers and into other professions, but that was not the intention of the University. No country can develop without science and technology. We threw all that away, let’s rely on ourselves.
“No nation can build Ghana. Ghanaians must take the lead, you must support Ghanaians to build this country. So going out with our cups in our hands to beg for people to develop our country, we’re only putting our country in jeopardy.”
Risk management committee formed
In a bid to resolve the challenges that may characterize the implementation of the $2 billion Sinohydro bauxite deal, government has instituted a Risk Management Team.
Speaking at the second edition of the Citi Business Forum, on the theme: After China, what next, Information Minister-designate, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, said the government will ensure that the country makes the best out of the deal.
“We have put in place what we call the risk management team made up of people who are familiar with the Sino experience. Sometimes some argue that they [China] keep changing the goal post, you can agree on something or on a broad framework with them, next two weeks, before you sign off then they change it. So how do we get people who are very familiar with that construct to aid us through this process. We have a risk management team that is paying attention to it,” he added.
The Minority subsequently petitioned the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over the issue seeking clarification as to whether the facility is a loan or not.