Sinohydro cash for infrastructure released Featured

The first tranche of funds from the ‘Bauxite for Development’ barter agreement, popularly known as Sinohydro deal, signed between the Government of Ghana and the People’s Republic of China, has been released, Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia has disclosed.

According to Dr Bawumia, a review and approval of projects under the agreement are progressing steadily.

The Vice-President disclosed this yesterday when he led a government delegation, including the Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, and Ghana’s ambassador to China, Edward Boateng, for bilateral talks with a Chinese delegation, led by Sun Chunlan, Vice-Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, who is on a three-day official visit to Ghana, at Jubilee House.

Major progress

Dr Bawumia noted that major progress has been made, with the China and Ghana governments determined to ensure the success of the barter deal. The deal will see the leveraging of a fraction of Ghana’s bauxite to undertake a massive overhaul of her infrastructural, industrial and agricultural base.

“I want to thank you and the Government of China on our Sinohydro facility. I’m happy that Sinosure (China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation) has approved the first lots of the Phase One.                                                   “We are happy with the progress. There was a time when people thought, maybe, it would not materialise but it has materialised and we hope that the rest of the first phase will come through by March of 2020,” Vice-President Bawumia stated.

Cynics proved wrong

It would be recalled that Vice-President Dr Bawumia, after a four-day official visit to the People’s Republic of China in 2017, announced the signing of a number of memoranda of understanding with Chinese state actors to provide financing for a number of infrastructure projects in Ghana, to be financed by the exploitation of some of Ghana’s minerals, in particular bauxite.

Some leading members of the opposition NDC have always poured cold water on the possibility of the agreement seeing the light, with some going as far as stating that they should be hooted at if the deal materialises.

Dr Bawumia reaffirmed the desire of the government and people of Ghana to work hand in hand with China to ensure mutual benefit and growth, emphasising that Ghana is determined to learn from China.

Appreciation

Vice-President Bawumia expressed the government’s appreciation for the financial support China has offered to Ghana, made up of a 300 million Yuan (approximately GHC 236.18/$42.79m) grant and a debt write off of 250 million Yuan (approximately GHC 196.82m/$35.66m).

“We are also very grateful for your support in the vocational and technical institutes that you are helping us to put together, which you are helping us to launch today.                                                                                     “It is important because Ghana wants to learn from China, and we know that in China, the development of the skill of the people is very important. This is why the technical and vocational training is very important and why your support is most appreciated,” he said.

Sun Chunlan commended the Akufo-Addo administration for its commitment to the development of the Ghana, saying this is what has informed the implementation of programmes such as Planting for Food and Jobs, One District One Factory, One District One Warehouse and the Free SHS programme.

“Since I arrived yesterday, I have been impressed with the warmth of your government and the policies you are implementing to develop Ghana. I wish you all the best,” he states.

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