According to Member of Parliament for Cape Coast South, Kweku George Ricketts-Hagan, the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, is not in China to seek debt cancellation from the Chinese government. Ricketts-Hagan alleges that Ofori-Atta will tell the Chinese that Ghana does not have the technology to explore the bauxite it owes them and that, in exchange for more loans, they (the Chinese) should come and take charge of the mining.
Ricketts-Hagan also claims that the bulk of the debt Ghana owes to China is in the form of natural resources, including bauxite, which was promised in the loan agreements signed. He added that the Chinese government is the only entity in the world that is likely to loan Ghana money because, unlike other countries, the Chinese don’t care about internal happenings in a country, and they are only concerned about deals that will benefit them.
The MP also said that the focus the government is placing on its debts to China is a “miss priority” because the value of the debt to China is far less than the value of the debt to capital markets which the government incurred through the issuance of Eurobonds. The capital market debt is more critical because if it is not addressed, Ghana will continue to be downgraded internationally, which will further worsen the economic challenges the country is currently facing.
Ken Ofori-Atta’s trip to Beijing is hinged on efforts to secure a deal for restructuring of Ghana’s bilateral debts with the Asian economic powerhouse. China is a key player relative to Ghana’s external debtors, holding about $1.7 billion of Ghana’s $5.5 billion bilateral debt. Talks with China were originally slated for mid-February but they were postponed to late March 2023