Ghana is looking to mine bauxite to uphold what it calls a barter deal with China's Sinohydro Corp. Limited, and the Atewa forest is currently under threat from mining devastation.
Here's what you need to know about the $2 billion Sinohydro deal
The Chinese government is gazing at the opportunity to secure the supply of strategic resources probably at the expense of the Ghanaian.
The forest which provides drinking water to five million people and harbours over 100 wildlife species is now at risk.
The government of Ghana entered a barter deal with the Chinese government and as part of the deal, the Chinese state-run Sinohydro Company, a hydropower engineering, and construction firm will finance and execute the construction of infrastructural projects across the length and breadth of Ghana, in an agreement dubbed the Master Project Support Agreement (MPSA).
In 2018, Ghana signed a memorandum with China to explore Ghana's deposits of bauxite—the primary ore in aluminum.
The barter trade deal will involve alumina processed from bauxite deposits in the country for a facility of US$2billion from Sinohydro Group Limited for infrastructural development.
Under the memorandum, Ghana will cede 5% of its bauxite resources to the Chinese. In turn, Beijing will finance $2 billion worth of infrastructure projects that include rails, roads, and bridge networks.
Part of the agreement is a $10 billion dollar project earmarked for expansion of the mines, industrial, and railway sectors. A bauxite processing factory is to be established.
A total of 4,000 km of new railway routes would be constructed. Some of the key towns in Ghana to hold terminals are Kumasi, Sunyani, Techiman, Tamale, and Paga.
The MPSA is supposed to cost $2 billion and is part of an overall $19 billion dollar 'loan' facility that would be granted by the Chinese government in exchange for Ghana's refined bauxite.
According to the agreement, China would exploit Ghana's bauxite for 15 years.
However, Parliament passed the Ghana Bauxite Integrated Aluminum Industry Act which would provide a legal framework to exploit the country's bauxite deposits.
Parliament approved projects from lot one to 10 under the first phase.
Lot 1 – Construction of Accra Inner City Roads. A total of 84 kilometres of roads located in Trobu, Anyaa-Sowutoum, Dome-Kwabenya, Adenta, and Teshie will be constructed;
Lot 2 – Construction of Kumasi and Mampong Inner City Roads. A total of 100 kilometres of inner-city roads will be constructed in Kumasi and Mampong. In Kumasi, the affected road networks are in Manhyia, Suame, Tafo Pankrono, Asokwa, Kwadaso, Oforikrom, Subin, Nhyiaeso and Bantama;
Lot 3 – Construction of the Tamale Interchange;
Lot 4 – Construction of the PTC Roundabout Interchange, in Sekondi-Takoradi, the first interchange in the western part of our country;
Lot 5 – Dualisation of the Adenta-Dodowa Road. 14 kilometres of the Adenta-Dodowa Road will be dualised so as to reduce congestion, improve road safety, and reduce travel times on the corridor;
Lot 6 – Construction of Sunyani Inner City and Berekum Township Roads. A total of 39 kilometres of roads will be constructed in Sunyani and Berekum Township. In Sunyani, 29 kilometres of inner-city roads will be constructed, whilst Berekum Township will see 10 kilometres of its roads constructed;
Lot 7 – Construction of Prestea Township and Cape Coast Inner City Roads. A total of 32 kilometres of roads will be constructed in Cape Coast and Prestea. In Cape Coast, 22 kilometres of inner-city roads will be constructed, whilst Prestea Township will see 10 kilometres of roads constructed;
Lot 8 – Upgrading of Selected Feeder Roads in Ashanti and Western Regions. Sixty-eight kilometres of feeder roads in the Ashanti and Western North regions will be rehabilitated. The roads that will be rehabilitated are mainly in communities that have bauxite deposits;
Lot 9 – Rehabilitation of Akim Oda-Ofoase Road. This lot involves the rehabilitation of the 38 kilometre Akim Oda-Ofoase road, which is part of the trunk road network, IR3, and passes through several rural communities that connect Akim Oda to Ofoase;
Lot 10 – Construction of the Hohoe-Jasikan-Dodo Pepesu Road of the Eastern Corridor. This will involve the construction of the 66-kilometre section of the Eastern Corridor Road between Hohoe to Jasikan and Dodo Pepesu.
The second phase of the project was expected to come on stream after approval by Parliament.
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