Ghanaian Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia will pay an official visit to China from June 20 to 25 at the invitation of Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang announced Thursday.
Sino-Ghanaian relations refer to the current and historical relationship between the Republic of Ghana and the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
Relations between the two countries date back to 1960 when the countries first established diplomatic relations. Since then Ghana has provided substantial diplomatic support to the PRC with the PRC reciprocating with material support for Ghana’s development. In the 1960s President Nkrumah lobbied for the PRC’s reinstatement in the United Nations. Nkrumah also supported the PRC during the Sino-Indian War in 1962. After the Nkrumah regime was overthrown Beijing withdrew around 200 Chinese aid workers and embassy staff. In the early 1990s China built Ghana’s National Theatre as a reward for Ghana’s diplomatic support during the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989. After Kufuor was elected president of Ghana in 2001 the PRC gave Ghana a US$2.4 million grant to renovate the theatre.
The two countries have enjoyed a strong relationship since 1960, with high-level official visits to China by then President Nkrumah and reciprocal visits to Ghana by Premier Zhou Enlai. In 2002 Ghana’s President John Kufuor made a high-level visit to China, and in 2003 China’s President Hu Jintao visited Ghana. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited Ghana on the second leg of his seven-nation tour of Africa in 2007.
In September 2010 Ghanaian President John Evans Atta Mills visited China on an official visit. China reciprocated with a visit in November 2011 by the Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China Zhou Tienong who visited Ghana and met with Ghana’s then Vice President John Dramani Mahama.
Since the 2000s the volume of Chinese trade and investment in Ghana has increased greatly. An indication of the importance China attaches to its economic relationship with Ghana in the West African region was the decision to open the fourth office of the China-Africa Development Fund in Accra. Opened in November 2011 the office in Ghana focuses on the West African region for the fund.
Premier Wen Jiabao’s 2007 visit resulted in the signing of six agreements and a US$66 million Chinese loan to expand and upgrade Ghana’s telecommunications network. Beijing provided a concessionary loan of US$30 million to support the first phase of a telecommunications project to link all ten regional capitals and 36 towns in Ghana with fiber optic cables.
Other Chinese aid projects include:
A $6 billion concessionary loan from the China Export Import Bank which Ghana is using to extend its rail network
A total of US$43.5 million in development assistance to Ghana between 1964 and 1970 and has written off US$25 million of debt. Recently the China Export and Import Bank (Exim Bank) granted US$562 million loan for the construction of the US$622 million Bui hydro-electric dam.:7
US$28 million interest-free loan for the construction of the 17 km Ofankor-Nsawam road completed in 2009.
US$99 million interest-free loan for the construction of landing sites for fishing communities and the Afife rice project.
China has provided substantial technical support to Ghana with more than 700 Ghanaians having attended Chinese-funded training courses in education, trading, communication, energy, auditing, agriculture and fisheries operation.
China is currently the second largest exporter to Ghana. In 2005 US$433.74 million worth of imports come into Ghana from China with Ghana exporting US$0.1 worth of exports. This reflects a sharp rise in two way trade between the two countries from $93.13 million in 2000 to $433.74 million in 2005. Most of China’s foreign direct investment in Ghana is focused on manufacturing, construction, tourism, trading and services with total investments worth US$75.8 million in 2008. Of 283 projects that Chinese nationals and SOEs have investments in 97 are in manufacturing, 59 in trading, 48 in tourism, 44 in services and 15 in construction.