A senior member of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr. Richard Winfred Anane, has revealed how Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia’s mishandling of a deal with China caused Ghana to miss out on a $20 billion investment opportunity.
Dr Anane, who served as health minister under former President John Agyekum Kufuor’s administration, said that he had facilitated the introduction of a major Chinese investor to Kufuor, who then recommended him to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
The investment was meant to fund the construction of a railway line connecting Accra and Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso. It also included setting up factories that would process Ghana’s bauxite, manganese, and iron ore into finished products.
In an interview on King Tom TV, monitored by GhanaWeb, Dr Anane said that Akufo-Addo delegated his vice president to China to finalize the agreement. However, Bawumia’s actions in China were detrimental to Ghana’s interests and resulted in losing the deal.
“I took one of the Chinese who was very close to the Chinese president to Ghana… I took him to President Kufuor and told him that if he gave this to Akufo-Addo, it would help the government.
“We wanted to build a railway line from Accra to Burkina Faso, from Takoradi to Burkina Faso. We thought this was possible. It was not only about bauxite; we also wanted to process manganese and iron ore at Zabzugu into steel that we could use for building the railway.
“For bauxite we told the Chinese that we wanted it processed in Ghana and not exported raw… Nana Akufo-Addo sent his vice president to China for discussions. But unfortunately what they did there was not good,” he said in Twi.
“They did not help Ghana; that is why it did not work. We were looking for $20 billion but what happened was not good… so those who talk about Sinohydro do not know what they are saying,” he added.
About Sinohydro deal:
The Sinohydro deal is a barter arrangement between Ghana and China’s Sinohydro Corporation that involves exchanging refined bauxite for infrastructure development in Ghana.
It is regarded as an innovative deal that could help African countries overcome their financial challenges and reduce their dependence on foreign loans.
Unlike direct foreign currency loans from China that many African governments take on at high interest rates and repayment terms, the Sinohydro deal does not involve any cash transactions but rather an exchange of value-added minerals for infrastructure.