General News of Friday, 14 September 2018
The Akufo-Addo administration has outlined its strategy for dealing with China – and it is drawn out of an eight-year programme.
The strategy is principally focused on tapping into China’s resources that fit into Ghana’s development agenda.
Information Minister-designate, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, highlighted the strategy while engaging co-panelists at a forum on ‘Ghana-China relationship; After China, What Next?’
Mr Oppong Nkrumah outlined nine strategic areas in the administration’s coordinated programmes which sync with China’s global agenda.
These include industrial transformation, agricultural and rural development; transportation (roads, aviation, ports/harbours etc.); human settlement and housing; greening the environment, promoting international trade and investment; poverty and inequality; health and health services; promoting culture for national development; and improving human security and public safety.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah explained that the strategy was to find global partners that are best-fit to partner Ghana in mutually beneficial arrangements.
“While these areas are a priority for us, we find that China is also in need of some opportunities which we have and has the ability to supply what we need. Therefore, it becomes logical to deal with the Chinese. What now remains is how we engage with them. And in so doing, we have a four-prong strategy with which we are now engaging the Chinese”, he explained.
The minister added that the strategy is led with a partnership-focus, a desire to mitigate the risks of doing business with China, desire to get value for money, knowledge transfer and increased agro-based exports to China.
“It also factors into soft matters like how Chinese do business. There are differences in how even the Chinese do business and how Japanese do business. So, in the new engagement we have with China, we have risk management team (RMT) which understands Sino transactions to guide our negotiations, follow through, project closure and execution. We have also included up to about 90 Sino-Ghana business people and a minimum of 30% local content mandate which ensures knowledge transfer and partial retention of capital in Ghana.
The minister-designate, however, conceded that the real focus now has to be the ability to follow through and execute in accordance to the strategy.
“I’m glad that tonight we have broken the myth that Ghana doesn’t have a strategy. The focus now has to be examining the depth and robustness of the strategy and most importantly follow through for effective execution.
President Akufo-Addo in his briefing with ministers post-China admonished them to focus on execution and value and not be too excited just with signing the MOU’s. So let’s all move from the sweeping statements that ‘we don’t have a strategy’. Let each of us read the strategy and hold our team to full execution”, he charged.