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Mix of Gratitude and Fear in Ghana Over China’s Role in the Country’s Ongoing Debt Crisis

File image of Ghanaian President President of Ghana Nana Akufo-Addo. Nipah Dennis / AFP

Joy News, one of Ghana’s largest media companies, published a pair of stories this week that revealed the complex emotions many in the West African country have about China’s role in the ongoing debt crisis.

On the positive side, the Ghanaian embassy in Beijing expressed its gratitude to China for helping to secure the $3 billion emergency loan from the International Monetary Fund.

“The embassy extends its profound gratitude to President Xi Jinping and the Chinese government for their vital support and prompt guarantee provided to the IMF on behalf of Ghana,” according to the story published on Joy News.

The following day, however, Joy News ran a report expressing concern about how four Chinese loans were collateralized against Ghanaian oil, cocoa and bauxite revenue in the event that the government is unable to repay the debts.

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? These two stories highlight the complexity of China’s role in the ongoing debt crisis in Ghana and many African countries where Beijing is simultaneously playing a constructive role to restructure debts while at the same time provoking anxiety over the lack of transparency in its lending practices.


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