November 22, 2002

China Grants Ghana US$3.6 Million

The Chinese government has provided a grant of 30 million yuan (about US$3.6 million) to the Ghanaian government, the Chinese Embassy in Ghana said Tuesday in Accra.

Chinese Ambassador to Ghana Lu Yongshou Monday on behalf of the Chinese government signed the grant agreement with Ghanaian Minister of Finance Yaw Osafo Maafo in the west African country's capital.

Lu told the journalist that the provision of the grant is a demonstration of the Chinese people's friendly feelings to the Ghanaian people and is in support of the economic development effort undertaken by the Ghanaian government.

"In the spirit of the Forum of China-Africa Cooperation- Ministerial Conference 2000 held in Beijing last year, when minister from China and 44 African countries undertook to build a dynamic, new strategic partnership between China and Africa, China will further develop and expand the friendly cooperation with the Ghanaian government and people within the framework of the South- South cooperation," Lu said.

Lu disclosed that apart from this grant and some other assistance provided by the Chinese government, the Chinese side is now holding serious discussion with the Ghanaian side on the cancellation of debts of over 90 million Yuan (about US$10.9 million) Ghana owes China.

At the signing ceremony, Maafo said unlike other grants from donors that come with predetermined purposes, the Chinese grant has no strings attached and the Ghanaian government has not yet determined what the money would be used for.

"We hope to achieve through the expeditious implementation of projects that will be mutually agreed upon between our two governments with the ultimate objective of enhancing the general well-being of the Ghanaian populace," Maafo said.

Commending the Chinese government's contribution to Ghana's development since its independence in 1957, Maafo said some of project have benefited tremendously from increased Chinese assistance over the years, including the National Theater, Drama Studio, irrigation facilities and the Dangbe East District Hospital.

Accepting the result of feasibility studies on the pulp and paper industry to him presented by the Chinese ambassador, Maafo said after the feasibility study on the establishment of a pulp and paper mill at Dabuase in the western region, the Chinese government will make a formal report.

The minister expressed hope that besides the current grant, Ghana can count on Chinese assistance in bringing to fruition the pulp project when his government requests for funding.

(People's Daily November 28, 2001)

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