Launch of Commemorative Stamps for the 60th Anniversary of China-Ghana Relations

Mr. ZHU Jing, Charge d’Affaires of the Chinese Embassy to Ghana in his welcome address noted that this year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Ghana. 60 year ago, Chairman Mao Zedong and President Dr. Kwame Nkrumah made the historic decision to establish diplomatic relations, making Ghana the second country in sub-Saharan Africa to do so.

The Chinese Embassy and Ghana Post have successfully co-designed and printed 10,000 sets of commemorative stamps, as one of the serial celebrations for the anniversary. I have the pleasure to reveal and introduce you the design of the stamps.
With the background of a flag of the Republic of Ghana, there’s one big stamp, featuring with a historic picture of the founders of our two countries, President Kwame Nkrumah and Chairman Mao Tse-Tung in the 1960s. It shows the heartfelt delight they share in establishing the bilateral relations. In the past 60 years, the depth of this relationship had become more robust and diverse.

Every year, the Chinese government provides Ghanaians around one thousand fully sponsored training opportunities in China, which we believe will further enhance mutual understanding and deepen our friendship, Mr Zhu noted.

Looking ahead, we will continue to follow and work on the direction pointed out by our leaders, and spare no effort to deepen the diplomatic relations, facilitate the already robust economic and commercial actives, and boost cultural and people to people exchanges. I’m sure the relationship between China and Ghana will continue to thrive for mutual benefit and prosperity.

Some dignitaries who attended the launch are Hon. George Andah, Deputy Minister for Communications, Amb. Kojo Amoo-Gottfried, President of Ghana-China Friendship Association and former Ambassador to China.
Madam Apenteng Magdalne, Chief Director for Communications, Mr. Samuel Boafo Adu, Director of Post from Communications, Mr. George Afedzi Hayford, Board Chairman of Ghana Post, Mr. James Kwofie, Managing Director of Ghana Post, Mr. John Otuteye, Executive Director from the Postal & Courier Regulatory Commission,
Dr. Nana Baah Wiredu, Chairman of the Stamp Advisory Committee.

Below is the full statement

Welcome Remarks by Mr. ZHU Jing, Charge d’Affaires of the Chinese Embassy to Ghana at the Launch of Commemorative Stamps for the 60th Anniversary of China-Ghana Relations
(October 20, 2020)

Hon. George Andah, Deputy Minister for Communications,
Amb. Kojo Amoo-Gottfried, President of Ghana-China Friendship Association and former Ambassador to China.
Madam Apenteng Magdalne, Chief Director for Communications, Mr. Samuel Boafo Adu, Director of Post from Communications, Mr. George Afedzi Hayford, Board Chairman of Ghana Post, Mr. James Kwofie, Managing Director of Ghana Post, Mr. John Otuteye, Executive Director from the Postal & Courier Regulatory Commission,
Dr. Nana Baah Wiredu, Chairman of the Stamp Advisory Committee, Distinguished guests,
Friends from media, Good morning! Welcome to the Chinese Embassy.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Ghana. 60 year ago, Chairman Mao Zedong and President Dr. Kwame Nkrumah made the historic decision to establish diplomatic relations, making Ghana the second country in sub-Saharan Africa to do so.

In the past 60 years, China-Ghana relations have grown from strength to strength under the strong leadership of successive leaders of our two countries. We are pleased to see close high-level exchange in recent years, particularly the state visit to China by H.E. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in September 2018 and the successful visit to Ghana by H.E. Vice Premier Sun Chunlan of China in November 2019.
Our relations are bearing fruits in the areas of trade and investment, technology transfer, infrastructure and people-to-people exchanges. The bilateral trade volume hit 7.46 billion USD in 2019.

China is now Ghana’s largest trading partner, the biggest source of foreign investment and the biggest provider of human resource training. Ghana has become the 7th largest trading partner of China in Africa. Until 2019, more than 6,500 Ghanaian students are studying in China, ranking the 2nd in the sub-Saharan Africa. Nearly 700 Ghanaian students have received Chinese government scholarships in recent two years. Tens of thousands of people traveled between our two countries each year.

Ladies and gentlemen, The Chinese Embassy and Ghana Post have successfully co-designed and printed 10,000 sets of commemorative stamps, as one of the serial celebrations for the anniversary. I have the pleasure to reveal and introduce you the design of the stamps.

With the background of a flag of the Republic of Ghana, there’s one big stamp, featuring with a historic picture of the founders of our two countries, President Kwame Nkrumah and Chairman Mao Tse-Tung in the 1960s. It shows the heartfelt delight they share in establishing the bilateral relations. In the past 60 years, the depth of this relationship had become more robust and diverse.

Beside the big stamp, there are four smaller stamps, each featured with the most symbolic development cooperation projects between China and Ghana in the past decade.
The first one is the Cape Coast Stadium. It used to be the biggest grant project by the Chinese government in Ghana with a contract amount of 33 million US dollars. Completed by January 2016 with facilities of 16,000 seats, 8 runway tracks, and a natural grass football yard, it has become one of the landmarks in Ghana.

The second one for the Bui Hydroelectric Project. It’s one of the largest energy projects in the history of Republic of Ghana, producing 15%-20% of Ghana’s electricity, supported by Chinese preferential loan.

The third one of the four pictures the Kpong Water Supply Expansion Project. Though not as well-known as the stadium, it has been one of the major provider of clean water for the Greater Accra region, also supported by Chinese preferential loan.
The last but not the least, the University of Health and Allied Science (UHAS). It is a grant project with first phase completed in 2015 and the second phase three time scale of the first phase started last year. We aim to build it into one of the most beautiful and modern universities in Ghana.

After my description, you must have a rough picture of how the commemorative stamps look like.

Actually, these are just a small portion of economic and development cooperation between the two countries. Others like the Satellite TV for 300 Ghanaian Villages project is providing thousands villagers free access to satellite TV; the 1,000 Boreholes Project is providing potable drinking water for more than 300,000 people in remote areas; the Jamestown Fishing Port, the Ghana Technical And Vocational Training Centers Upgrading Project are in steady progress despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
All these projects demonstrates China’s sincerity of building up our friendship.

Speaking of COVID-19, China and Ghana have supported each other immensely fighting the pandemic. China has been making great efforts in health cooperation with Ghana. Since 2009, China has dispatched nine batches of medical teams to Ghana. The LEKMA Hospital, a Government Health facility, was built in 2010 as a China-Ghana Friendship Hospital with US$7.28 million assistance from the Chinese Government. With Chinese President Xi Jinping promise African countries priority access to COVID-19 Vaccine, health cooperation is certain to be further strengthened.

China is also devoting a lot in human resource development cooperation with Ghana. Every year, the Chinese government provides Ghanaians around one thousand fully sponsored training opportunities in China, which we believe will further enhance mutual understanding and deepen our friendship.
Looking ahead, we will continue to follow and work on the direction pointed out by our leaders, and spare no effort to deepen the diplomatic relations, facilitate the already robust economic and commercial actives, and boost cultural and people to people exchanges. I’m sure the relationship between China and Ghana will continue to thrive for mutual benefit and prosperity.

Story: Sheila Satori Mensa

Government Seeks Parliamentary Approval To Spend GH¢11,896,477,566.00 In Mid-Year Fiscal Policy Review

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta on Thursday presented to Parliament a mid-year fiscal policy review of the 2020 Budget Statement and Economic Policy as well as Supplementary Estimates of the Government by moving a motion to seek parliamentary approval to spend additional GH¢11,896,477,566.00 to support government expenditure for the rest of the year.

The presentation is in accordance with Article 179 (8) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, Standing Order 143 of the House as well as Section 28 of the Public Financial Management Act (2015), Act 921 which requires the Finance Minister to prepare and submit to Parliament a mid-year fiscal policy review not later than July 31 of each financial year.

The Finance Minister had earlier on November 13, 2019 presented the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government’s fourth Budget Statement and Economic Policy to Parliament which according to him was focussed on providing the type of required liquidity to boost the country’s industrialisation drive.

This particular year’s presentation highlighted on the government’s plan on how the country is to recover from the shocks of the economy due to the withdrawal of advanced monies from the Contingency and Stabilisation Funds following the COVID-19 pandemic and touched on key economic indicators such as growth rate, primary balance, budget deficit, revenue and expenditure targets among others.

The Minister had earlier in the year announced that government will require about 9.5 billion cedis to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, a situation which may move the 2020 budget deficit to over 7 percent after Parliament in April approved government’s request to withdraw GHS 1.2 billion from the Contingency fund to finance the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP).

The Minister said the outbreak of the pandemic is having a negative impact on the financial sector not only here in Ghana but also across the world and that all over the world, central banks are being relied upon by governments to find the liquidity to tackle the socio-economic difficulties unleashed by the pandemic.

He said the COVID-19 pandemic has also led to disruption in corporate and general business confidence, with threats to projected revenues, profitability, liquidity and corporate growth and stated that so far 19 out of the 28 State-owned Enterprises (SOEs) are projecting losses up to GH¢1.55 billion for 2020.

On the performance of the economy in the first quarter of 2020, he announced Overall Real GDP growth rate of 6.8 percent, Non-Oil Real GDP growth rate at 6.7 percent, End-Period Inflation rate of 8.0 percent, Overall Fiscal Deficit of 4.7 percent of GDP, Primary Surplus of 0.7 percent of GDP and Gross International Reserves to cover at least 3.5 months of imports of goods and services

Ken Ofori-Atta disclosed that the Bank of Ghana has stepped up to the challenge and announced various policy measures to help support the economy and financial institutions in order to cushion the adverse impact of Covid-19 on the economy which he stressed has been possible because of the responsible and competent management of both the fiscal and monetary space since 2017.

He revealed that Government has additionally borrowed GHS 10 billion from the Bank of Ghana (BoG) and received a USD 1 billion rapid credit facility from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as part of funds for the electricity relief package for Ghanaians for the remainder to be used to support the 2020 Budget.

According to the Minister, though targets set out by government at the beginning of the year were not met, he is positive of a robust turnaround in the economic fortunes of the country within the second half of the year and used the opportunity to announce the review of some of the key macroeconomic targets announced in the 2020 budget read last year.

The Minister lamented that the government took over a treasury thwarted in high debt burden, a derailed IMF programme, forlornly expected to be corrected by the same government that had lost touch with the plight and aspirations of the people and lost track with its own programme of action.

Ken Ofori-Atta however boasted that the NPP government has bequeathed an economy that was choking on the largest nominal fiscal slippages since independence, with underperforming revenues battling against the insatiable appetite of an overspending government, surrounded by a mountain range of billions of arrears about half of which turned out to be dubious.

He lauded the august House for its continuous support and expressed his sincere gratitude for the enormous support extended to him since taking office adding that he truly appreciated the long hours the MPs sat through, considering and passing key bills and measures for the ASEMPA BUDGET in 2017, the ADWUMAPA budget in 2018, MPONTUO Budget of 2019 and the NKOSUO AND NKANBOM Budget of 2020.