President Akufo-Addo has said Ghana will be guided by history in her relationship with China.
“The historical echoes are certainly worrisome, but, yes, surely, we must and can learn from history,” said President Akufo-Addo Wednesday at the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly.
President Akufo-Addo’s comments come on the back of the controversy surrounding some deals that his government has entered into with some Chinese companies notably, the $2billion bauxite exploration agreement between Ghana and Sinohydro Group Limited of China and extension of satellite TV coverage to 300 villages across the country under the Digital Terrestrial Transition (DTT) policy with Chinese Broadcasting Company Star-Times.
“This is not a uniquely Ghanaian or African phenomenon. It has not been lost on us that the developed, rich and well-established countries have been paying regular visits to China, and seeking to open new economic ties and improve upon existing ones.
“It is also not lost on us that a lot of anxiety is being expressed about the possibility of a recolonization of the African continent by a new power. We should, indeed, learn from history,” President Akufo-Addo maintained.
Justifying Ghana and Africa’s embrace of China in her quest to transform herself from an aid-dependent nation, President Akufo-Addo said, “It was at the turn of the 20th century that China’s first railways were built by Western companies, financed by Western loans to a nearly bankrupt Qing Dynasty, and it was under those circumstances that a certain strategic port called Hong Kong was leased for 99 years, and the rest, as the saying goes, is history.”
“Today,” he continued “the former victim of Western Railways imperialism is lending billions to countries throughout Asia, Africa and Europe to construct not only railroads, but also highways, ports, power plants and other infrastructure, and many businesses.”
According to him, “it is obvious to us that the development trajectory we had been on for many decades is not working. We are trying a different one, and we would appreciate the support and goodwill of the world, especially in helping to stem the huge flow of illicit funds from the continent.”
“We are determined in Ghana, and, increasingly, in more and more parts of Africa, to chart our own paths to prosperity, and pay our own way in the world. We are no longer interested in being a burden on others. We will shoulder our own responsibilities and build societies and nations that will be attractive to our youth. We have the necessary sense of enterprise, creativity, innovation and hard work to engineer this transition. Hence, our vision of a Ghana Beyond Aid, indeed, of an Africa Beyond Aid,” he stated.