President Akufo-Addo says the Chinese government’s $60 billion fund earmarked for infrastructure projects in Africa cannot be described as aid.
The President said it is erroneous to refer to the facility as aid because it is rather a loan.
He explained that all the beneficiary countries are expected to pay back and therefore that cannot be regarded as aid.
Speaking at the ongoing 2018 Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Forum in Lagos, Nigeria, he emphatically stated that borrowing is not aid.
“Borrowing money is not aid, what President Xi Jinping offered is a $60 billion fund which Africa countries can assess, not as aid but loans. If you can produce a project which the Chinese think it is worth supporting you can have access to such money and you have to pay it back. We’ll borrow money, everybody borrows money,” President Akufo-Addo said.
His comments come following claims by certain quarters that he has reneged on his much-touted Ghana Beyond Aid mantra, which was a major campaign promise of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Last week, former president Mahama chided the government for ‘over borrowing’, accusing the Nana Addo administration of borrowing more than $50 billion in less than two years.
However, President Akufo-Addo maintained that Ghana and other African counties need China’s loan facility to develop infrastructure.
"The facility from the President of China is a fund that African countries can access and use to support their infrastructure development, that cannot be aid because it's for a purpose and we have accepted it because of the business potential of our nations," he stated.
He said many developed nations have borrowed so much and used it to develop their countries.
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He cited America as an example, whiles again stressing that borrowing cannot be referred to as aid.
"Many developed nations borrow; America and all other countries borrow and use it wisely. We're not taking aid from China," President Akufo-Addo added.
He ended his speech by calling on African leaders to make use of the loans they take, as well as the natural resources in their countries to make the lives of the people better.
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