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Lessons for Future Engagements between China and Ghana

Aid, trade and foreign direct investments typify China’s global rise and its African activities. Contemporary China-Ghana relations follow a similar script with the Bui Dam playing a crucial role in the narrative. The 400-megawatt dam was completed by China’s Sinohydro Corporation in 2013. It was part of the Volta River Project which delivered the Akosombo and Kpong dams in 1965 and 1982. The US government and World Bank funded the Akosombo and Kpong dams. Another conspicuous dimension of growing China-Ghana relations is the surge in Chinese migrants to Ghana and vice versa. Although the Ghana Immigration Service does not make public the number of Chinese migrants, some academics have pegged the numbers at about 30,000, a number that’s much larger than the estimates of two decades ago. Ghana has emerged as the African country with the most students in China. These commercial and associated activities and exchanges will continue to deepen with the Belt and Road Initiative. Ghana signed on to the initiative in 2018 and has already negotiated a $2 billion deal enabling Sinohydro to provide infrastructure, such as roads and bridges, across the country in exchange for refined bauxite.