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PRESIDENT DECORATES OUT-GOING CHINESE AMBASSADOR TO GHANA

Ghana’s President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has decorated the out-going Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, H.E Sun Baohong, with the honour of a Member of the Star of Ghana – Honourary Division.

 

At a farewell luncheon, organized on her behalf, at the Jubilee House, President Akufo-Addo said H.E. Baohong had become a good friend of Ghana and, therefore, deserved the great honour of being hosted to the luncheon.

 

The President said her duty tour here in Ghana had witnessed a significant and tremendous expansion of co-operation and friendship between the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Ghana.

 

President Akufo-Addo said the relationship between the two countries dated back to the early years of Ghana's independence, a relationship which was struck by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the first President of the country, which relationship had strengthened, since then, and further rekindled by the President John Agyekum Kufuor Administration between 2001 and 2008, resulting, among others, in the construction of the Bui Dam.

 

As a Foreign Minister then, President Akufo-Addo said, he was aware of much of the important initiatives that were taken, the most spectacular being the construction of the Bui Dam, adding that Ghana had witnessed a remarkable number of development projects within the last four and five years under the leadership of H. E. Baohong.

 

Among many interventions that the Chinese had made, President Akufo-Addo said, was the facilitation of an official tour of China for Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, then Vice Presidential candidate of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP)—an opportunity, the President said, was usually extended to official largesse of Governments in power, especially in this part of the world.

“We know how tricky crossing that line could be, but the Ambassador and the Chinese Government recognized that Ghana was increasingly becoming a vigorous democracy and the possibility of which existed, that the invitee would be who he is today, the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana,” he noted.

 

It struck me at the time as an unusual gesture of friendship and solidarity, and I felt that I should say so in public how much I appreciated that gesture, the President noted.

 

Again, the President said, a series of agreements executed with the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, and the Chinese Ambassador at the end of her 4-year duty stay in the country, had further strengthened the existing relations between the two countries.

 

In these agreements, the Peoples’ Republic of China had offered to Ghana US $66 million, out of which US $50 million would go to complete the construction of the Jamestown Fish Port Complex in Accra—an initiative, the President indicated, was part of Government's plans to revive the socio-economic development of that part of the country, which had significantly declined over the years.

 

The remaining amount, President Akufo-Addo indicated, would go into the completion of the next phase of the University of Health and Allied Sciences expansion Project.

 

On her part, the Chinese Ambassador reiterated her country’s commitment to fostering a new partnership with Africa – and Ghana, she said, was a new stage of partnership of a “win-win” situation.

 

H.E Ms Boahong gave a litany of development projects that China had embarked upon in Ghana, and the many more her country sought to do. She said she was gratified and honoured by the friendly gesture shown her by President Akufo-Addo and his government.

 

Ambassador Baohong, who began her ambassadorial duties in Ghana on March 27, 2014, said she came to Ghana with hopes and dreams, and was leaving with friendship and honour.

 

This, she said, had demonstrated President Akufo-Addo’s strong commitment to promoting China-Ghana friendship, and a further development of their relations, adding that  she had only fulfilled her duty as an Ambassador while, His Excellency the President, the government and people of Ghana had given her much more.

 

The out-going Ambassador said economic and trade co-operation had achieved impressive results over the past 4 to 5 years, and Ghana, one of China’s largest trading partners and main source of foreign investment, had witnessed bilateral trade volume raised from US $5.6 billion in 2014, to US $6.68 billion in 2017, with Ghana’s exports to China reaching a historicalhigh of US $1.85 billion.

 

Due to the impressive macro economic stability and the prudent management of the country’s resources by President Akufo-Addo’s Government, Ambassador Baohong said, Chinese enterprises and entrepreneurial confidence in Ghana’s market had further improved.

 

Ambassador Baohong noted that in the recent past, the country’s economy had had some difficulties, where Chinese enterprise confidencein the economy dipped low, with most of the foreign investors becoming pessimistic about Ghana’s economy and decreased investment to Ghana.

 

However, she said, the Chinese had implemented a dozen of major co-operative projects through grants and loans, which projects had made important contributions to Ghana’s economic development andthe people’s livelihood.

 

Source: ISD (Rex Mainoo Yeboah)