Why Ghana's $2b Resource Deal With China Is Not as Risky as Critics Charge


Manage episode 247597661 series 108224
By The China Africa Project, Eric Olander, and Cobus van Staden. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
News coverage and social media commentary about the recent deal signed between the Ghanian government and the Chinese state-owned construction conglomerate Sinohydro is almost universally negative. According to deal, Ghana would exchange 5% of its bauxite reserves for $2 billion of infrastructure. But critics in Ghana and internationally contend the deal doesn't make sense and is just too risky both financially and environmentally. If bauxite prices fall then Accra would be on the hook to make up the difference, potentially costing the country millions of dollars. Equally concerning is the fact that the mines are located in the Atewa Forest Preserve, one of West Africa's most important ecological zones and also a critical source for an estimated 5 million people. The government, for its part, has struggled to challenge critics and present counter-arguments as to why this deal is in the best of the country and will not jeopardize fragile ecosystems. Ghana, they argue, has been responsibly mining bauxite for years so why all of a sudden is everyone so worried that this deal, in particular, is so risky? Henry Kyeremeh is the Head of the Bank Accounts, Reserves and Interventions Unit at the Treasury and Debt Management Division in the Ghanian Ministry of Finance. He's a strong advocate for this deal as he believes it's the most efficient way for the government to leverage natural resources to build badly-needed infrastructure without taking new loans. Henry joins Eric & Cobus to provide a different perspective on the Ghana-Sinohydrop deal than what has been portrayed in the news media and online. IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: It's important to note that although Henry is a senior official in the finance ministry, in this interview he's not speaking in any official capacity on behalf of the Ghanian government and only sharing his personal views on this issue. JOIN THE DISCUSSION: Facebook: www.facebook.com/ChinaAfricaProject Twitter: @eolander | @stadenesque | @pazeeboy SUPPORT THIS PODCAST. BECOME A SUBSCRIBER TO THE CHINA AFRICA PROJECT. Your subscription supports independent journalism. Subscribers get the following: A daily email newsletter of the top China-Africa news. Access to the China-Africa Experts Network Unlimited access to the CAP's exclusive analysis content on chinaafricaproject.com Subscribe today and get one month free with the promo code PODCAST: www.chinaafricaproject.com/subscribe

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