Ghana’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey (MP) has proposed some amendments to the process of loan repayment which she says could address the growing concern of debt sustainability in Africa.
The Hon. Foreign Minister made the remark during a dialogue with executives of major Chinese financial institutions and the heads of African delegations attending the Coordinators’ Meeting on the implementation of the follow-up actions of the Beijing Summit of the Forum for China-Africa Cooperation, FOCAC.
“To ensure sustainability of our debts, Ghana wishes to propose that China may consider increasing the tenure of loan repayment for key infrastructure projects from about 15-20 years to 20-30 years”.
The move is expected to give beneficiary countries some fiscal space as well as allow the projects to fully develop into self-financing and self-sustaining ones, the Hon. Foreign Minister remarked.
Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey added that China may consider giving African countries at least 5 years moratorium on loan repayment.
The dialogue was to brief member countries on what has been achieved in terms of fund disbursement, afford beneficiary countries better access to China’s financing tools to boost economic development.
Chief economist at China Development Bank, Liu Yong said that China would provide strong financial support for high quality economic development in Africa.
Various speakers from eight other Chinese financial institutions called for deepened cooperation in financial fields and the constant upgrade of the levels of cooperation.
They were optimistic, using China’s experiences, technologies and support funds alongside its abundant resources could help the African continent to better the lot of its citizenry.
All nine representatives pledged the continued commitment of the financial institutions to provide sustainable funding to African countries, while developing more products that are based on experiences of the Chinese, combined with specific situations in the various member countries.
Meanwhile, Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan has called on China and Africa to build consensus and strengthen cooperation for the successful implementation of the outcomes of the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.
President Wang Qishan was speaking at a group meeting with the heads of African delegations ahead of the Coordinators’ Meeting on the implementation of the follow-up actions of the Beijing Summit of the FOCAC.
The meeting comes nearly a year after the Beijing Summit which rolled out major initiatives on infrastructure connectivity, trade facilitation, industrial promotion, health care, capacity building, people-to-people exchanges as well as peace and security.
Describing the meeting as a milestone marking China-Africa relations, H.E Wang Qishan urged both sides to push the China-Africa strategic partnership of cooperation to a higher level, building a closer China-Africa Community with a shared future.
In 2018, China development Bank alone provided 60 billion USD in financing by year ending to nearly 500 projects in 43 African countries across various sectors which included infrastructure and agriculture.
Trade between China and Africa reached a little over 204 billion USD last year, making China Africa’s largest trading partner for ten straight years.
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SPEECH TO BE DELIVERED BY THE MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND REGIONAL INTEGRATION OF THE REPUBLIC OF GHANA, HON. SHIRLEY AYORKOR BOTCHWEY (MP) AT THE COORDINATORS’ MEETING ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE FOLLOW UP ACTIONS
OF THE FOCAC SUMMIT ON JUNE 25, 2019 IN BEIJING, CHINA
Your Excellency, Mr. Wang Yi, State Councilor and Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China,
Permit me from the onset to commend the two Co-chairs of FOCAC for the efforts deployed to make this meeting possible. Also, my delegation and I have been impressed by the extraordinary warmth extended to us by the Chinese side since our arrival in Beijing.
I join my colleagues to extend warm congratulations to the Government and People of the People’s Republic of China on the successful holding of the second Sessions of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC) and the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) which were held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing during March 2019, as well as the successful hosting of second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in April 2019.
The outcomes of these meetings are a reflection of President Xi Jinping’s sterling leadership over the last six years and a fitting testament of his enduring vision of creating a community of shared opportunities for all countries, strong and weak, developed and developing, which has been globally acclaimed.
This Coordinators’ Meeting provides a unique platform to promote sustained dialogue between China and Africa while at the same time reviewing the progress we have made in the implementation of the Eight Initiatives announced by President Xi Jinping at the Beijing Summit. The establishment of the China-Africa Institute, the organization of the first China-Africa Expo, the disbursement of the $60 billion facility for Africa among others, all point to the fact that the implementation of the outcomes of the Beijing Summit is on course. I therefore urge both sides to work assiduously to ensure the successful implementation of all the outcomes of the Summit.
The Republic of Ghana attaches great importance to its relations with the People’s Republic of China. My President, H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has strongly advocated and robustly defended Sino-African relations at many international fora, including the United Nations General Assembly. We in Ghana are of the firm belief that Africa stands a better chance of achieving its developmental goals, particularly if it works together and forges enduring and mutually beneficial partnership between and among its peoples and with the People’s Republic of China, particularly within the framework of FOCAC.
Hopefully, the coordinates within Africa are beginning to align. The African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement, perhaps the most important continental instrument since the formation of the Organisation of African Unity in May 1963, is soon to be made operational. Discussions are also far advanced towards the establishment of the Single Africa Air Transport market to improve connectivity across the Continent. Ghana would therefore like to call on China not to be detracted from its objective of assisting Africa to develop, but rather take advantage of these opportunities through its support for the development of critical infrastructure and manufacturing industries across Africa. In that regard, beyond national development agendas, consideration must be given to regional flagship projects that would enhance the integration process to boost wealth creation for the benefit of both sides.
I am confident that the Sino-African relations in this new era would be characterized by the forging of an even stronger community with a shared future based on the principles of sincerity, mutual trust and respect for the common prosperity for our peoples.
Long Live Ghana-China Relations!
Long Live Africa-China Relations!!
Thank you for your attention!!!