- The finance minister has hinted of exchanging Ghana's bauxite with schools and hospitals from China
- Ken Ofori Attah sais this exchange will be in excess of US$2 billion
- The move to auction Ghana's bauxite has been rejected fiercely by some civil society groups
Finance minister, Ken Ofori Atta, has revealed that Ghana will be trading its bauxite to China in return for roads, hospitals and other development projects.
This was contained in the mid-year budget review presented on the floor of parliament.
According to the finance minister, the Chinese firm, Sinohydro Group Limited, will provide "US$2 billion of infrastructure including roads, bridges, interchanges, hospitals, housing, rural electrification, in exchange for Ghana’s refined bauxite”.
The finance minister further stated in his presentation that Ghana should expect a new bauxite refinery within the next three years in collaboration with some selected private partners with 30 percent local participation.
YEN.com.gh had earlier reported of how hundreds of aggrieved Ghanaians across the country protested against this move by the government. This protest was led by a group called Concerned Citizens of the Atewa Landscape.
In a statement, the group explained the reason for the walk saying it is "to mobilize and rally citizen action to compel the government to rescind plans to mine bauxite within the Atewa Forest Reserve due to its vital water."
The Atewa Forest is one of two such virgin forest reserves in Ghana covering a total land area of 263km2, which represents about 33 percent of the remaining closed forest in Eastern Region.
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