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Ghana’s Risky $2 Billion ‘Roads for Resources’ Gamble with China

Ghana is moving forward with an environmentally-risky resources-for-infrastructure deal with the Chinese state-owned construction conglomerate Sinohydro. According to the agreement, Ghana will provide 5% of its bauxite reserves to Sinohydro in exchange for a $2 billion package of infrastructure that includes roads, bridges, power plants and oil refineries.

While Ghana’s need for infrastructure is understandable, critics contend that this deal is too just dangerous as it threatens the water supply of up to 5 million people. Most of the bauxite that the Chinese will mine is located in the pristine Atewa Forest Reserve in eastern Ghana and is internationally recognized as one of the most important ecosystems in West Africa.

The two governments, though, appear determined to proceed regardless of the potential environmental consequences. China recently released the initial tranche of $649 million as part of the deal indicating that both mining operations and construction will start soon.

Emmanuel Amoah-Darkwah, an Accra-based economist and market analyst for IHS Markit, is closely following the deal and joins Eric & Cobus to explain why he thinks it’s just too risky.

Show Notes:

About Emmanuel Amoah-Darkwah

Emmanuel Amoah-Darkwah currently consults for IHS Markit- a business intelligence firm which has its headquarters in the United Kingdom. Before joining IHS Markit, he worked as an analyst for Songhai Advisory LLP from October 2015 to July 2017 where he carried out risk analysis for investors investing in Sub-Saharan Africa. He contributed immensely to the maiden State of Social Enterprise in Ghana Report which was sponsored by the British Council and executed by Songhai Advisory LLP in 2016. Prior to joining Songhai, he worked at Access Bank Ghana Limited as a Relationship Officer where he offered financial advisory services and also made presentations on credit facilities to customers. Emmanuel is a sought-after economic analyst locally and internationally. Notable media houses to have granted interviews with him include BBC, Bloomberg, China Global Television Network (CGTN), Channel Africa, TV Africa, GhOne, TV3, GTV, etc. He is also a columnist for Business and Financial Times (B&FT); a leading business newspaper in Ghana. Emmanuel is a chartered economist with a specialization in Economic Policy Analysis.  He holds a B.A in Political Science and M.A in International Affairs and Diplomacy, both from the University of Ghana-Legon.

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