Ghana Agreeing China Deals With ‘Eyes Open,’ Says President

(Bloomberg) -- Ghana President Nana Akufo-Addo defended the West African nation’s dealings with China, saying the country is doing business with its “eyes open” after signing eight accords for ventures worth more than $2.3 billion last month.

The two countries agreed deals from a $2 billion infrastructure program to a $350 million project which involves the building of marine facilities for a liquefied natural-gas terminal in the port of Tema during the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in September. While Beijing-backed investment has provided African governments with much-needed infrastructure, it has also generated complaints about China’s preference for loans.

“It is in our interest to deal with China,” Akufo-Addo said at the FT Africa Summit in London on Monday. “It is the second biggest economy of the world. Everyone is dealing with China.”

Ghana’s economy is forecast to grow 6.3 percent in 2018, according to the International Monetary Fund, slowing from last year’s 8.1 percent. The government of Akufo-Addo is trying to cut the nation’s reliance on aid and will not seek to renew or extend an almost $1 billion bailout program with the IMF which ends this year.

“We need to focus on what we can do for ourselves,” Akufo-Addo said. “Aid has not done too much for us.”

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