The Confucius Institute at University of Cape Coast (CIUCC) and the Embassy of The People’s Republic of China in Ghana on Tuesday jointly organized a public lecture at UCC. The lecture is one of CIUCC’s planned lecture series for the year 2018, with the objective of highlighting the contribution of the People’s Republic of China towards global peace, education, trade and economic development.
The lecture begun with a welcome address by Prof. Ishmael Mensah, the Ghana Director of CIUCC who underscored the role of CIUCC in promoting cultural exchanges between Ghanaians and their Chinese counterparts. In the opening remarks by the Deputy Central Regional Minister and Chairman for the occasion, Hon. T. Y. Adjei Baffoe, he emphasized some of the contributions by China to the Ghanaian economy over the years.
The speaker Mr. Jiang who is the Chargé D’affaires and acting Chinese Ambassador begun by expressing his extreme delight for being at the University of Cape Coast for the second time and meeting UCC students once again to have an interaction with them.
The lecture which was entitled China-Ghana Diplomatic Relations: Past, Present and Future covered three main areas; The history of China-Ghana diplomatic relations, the current state of China-Ghana diplomatic relations, and the future of China-Ghana diplomatic relations.
Mr. Jiang noted that he had been to several African countries including Sierra Leone and Nigeria. However, among the countries he had visited, Ghana stood tall.
Mr. Jiang noted that China-Ghana’s friendship is about 58 years old now. It started as far back as 1960 during the era of Ghana’s first president, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. During the early years of Ghana’s independence, Nkrumah visited China a couple of times and established good relationship with the first president of China, Mao Zedong (Chairman Mao) which led to the establishment of formal diplomatic ties between the two countries on July 5, 1960. Ghana was the second sub-Saharan African state to establish diplomatic relations with China after Guinea in 1959.
On the current state of China-Ghana diplomatic relations, Mr. Jiang indicated that Ghana and China have enjoyed uninterrupted bilateral relations since 1960. As a result, successive presidents of Ghana since Dr. Kwame Nkrumah continue to visit China during their tenure.
Notable among them are Jerry John Rawlings, John Agyekum Kuffuor, the Late President John Evans Atta Mills, and John Dramani Mahama. He further indicated that during the United Nations Conference in 1971, former President John Agyekum Kuffuor, who was then Ghana’s Deputy Foreign Minister voted in favor of China occupying a legitimate seat at the United Nations’ Security Council.
Mr. Jiang further noted that, Chinese government has an unflinching non-partisan relationship with the two major political parties in Ghana (i.e. The New Patriotic Party and The National Democratic Congress). This has kept the China-Ghana bilateral relations stronger and healthier devoid of unhealthy political party interference. He indicated that three significant features of China-Ghana bilateral relations are close high-level exchanges and mutual political trust between the two countries, fruitful economic and trade cooperation between the two countries and a flourishing people-to-people exchange between the two countries. He indicated further that China is Ghana’s largest trade partner and currently has about 790 Chinese invested projects in Ghana in various sectors such as agriculture, mining, manufacturing and construction. There are currently over 30,000 Chinese in Ghana contributing in various ways to the Ghanaian economy. There are also over 12,000 Ghanaians in China including students, workers and other professionals.
Mr. Jiang stated that the future of the relationship between China and Ghana is very bright because China is committed to forging new international relations based on a win-win cooperation in order to promote the building of a community of shared future for mankind. China regards Africa as a very important partner and Ghana is one of China’s most important partners in Africa.
Mr. Jiang lecture attracted scores of students from various faculties and departments of the university and other sister institutions in the cape coast metropolis. Notable among the attendees were, the two directors of CIUCC, Prof. Ishmael Mensah and Prof. Hu Liangcai, Hon. T. Y. Adjei Baffoe (Deputy Central Regional Minister), Dr. Alex J. Wilson (Director of Center for African and International Studies – UCC), Mrs. Paulina Nyankah (Headmistress of UPSHS), Mr. Boohene Kwame (Asst Librarian, UCC), Mr. Assamoah-Appiah William (Lecturer at CCTU), Madam Georgina Aglobitse (Headmistress of UPS), Mr. Eric Ekow Ewusie (Penwell International School), staff of CIUCC and representatives from Ghana Immigration service.
In his conclusion, Mr. Jiang encouraged students to take advantage of the various opportunities that Ghana’s relationship with China offers them. He also invited Ghanaian businesses and traders to take advantage of the upcoming China Business expo to sell their goods and services in China. He announced that there would be a summit this year in China which shall bring together all African leaders to Beijing to discuss the future of China-Africa relations. He emphasized that, the future of China-Ghana bilateral relations is brilliant and has great potentials.
——————————Story by: Iddriss Musah Iddriss