"China $15 billion aid was not a loan; it is a joint venture" - Bawumia

The Vice President, Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia, has hit back at critics who say the government is unfairly using the country’s natural resources to contract a $15 billion loan facility from the Chinese government.

According to him, the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Government of Ghana and the Chinese government, is a joint venture and not a loan.

The government has come under pressure from the Minority in Parliament and some civil society organizations over its plan to leverage the country’s Bauxite depositsin the Atiwa forest to contract the money.

“It is a joint venture; and essentially that is what the leveraging means in this context. It is a win – win situation” he said.

He said many analysts were ignorant of the government’s new arrangement with the Chinese government, saying “because as a country, we have been used to the old model of borrowing from China, many analysts have not understood this new paradigm. They, therefore, keep referring erroneously to the $15 Chinese loan. What we are proposing and the agreements we have reached so far are not new loans, but rather joint venture proposals using less than 5% of our potentially refined bauxite reserves.”

Dr. Bawumia was speaking at a forum organized by the Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG) on China-Africa relations.

He noted that, the decision to make the arrangement with the Chinese government was properly thought through, and said the government was committed to using the money to transform the economy by undertaking important projects.

By: Jonas Nyabor/citifmonline.com/Ghana