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Africa houses twenty-four of the world’s thirty-six poorest countries. Out of these twenty-four African states, they produce 70% of the raw materials for industrialization in the so called developed countries. These countries individually possess at least three different natural resources, yet poverty is endemic in their system. Experts relate this syndrome to bad governance. The living conditions of these people in these countries are in a very deplorable state.
The Chinese in their bid to ease their system and reduce the pressure on its economy, coupled with its inadequate infrastructure to meet the needs of its overwhelming and growing population, it is a deliberate and social intervention measure to find employment opportunities for its citizens outside the Chinese economy.
The African economy and the poor living conditions of its people were identified by the Chinese government to be a viable economic ground for investment and to ease the pressure on its choked country.
In addition, because of the huge population in China, the Chinese produce goods and services on a large scale, because of this, they easily make up for their production cost and make extra profits for other things. There is cheap labour in china and an extra surplus labour still choked in the country.
Moreover, it is a social interventionist measure to decongest china of its huge population. Since it is a deliberate policy, the Chinese themselves send loan and grant proposals to African countries with the aim of improving the living conditions of Africans. In addition to the loans they give, they bring personnel ranging from engineers, labourers and even chefs. In the bid of the Chinese to negotiate to be part of the Angolan Oil deal, they sent a cargo plane full of Chinese citizens to come and negotiate. When the deal was brokered, only thirteen people (the executives) boarded a private flight back to china. Although the Chinese are helping to improve the living conditions of people in Africa and for that matter Ghana, the long term effects are enormous.
The Chinese have employed what I call the 3 tier “EX” approach, namely, “EXPLORATION, EXTRACTION AND EXTORTION (REPATRIATION)” on Africa and for that matter Ghana. The Chinese invested only one billion US dollars into the Angolan Oil, two years later they extorted and repatriated a profit of ninety billion US dollars and are still exploring and finding markets elsewhere and Angola still remains in poverty. Let us now assess the effects of the presence of the Chinese in the Ghanaian economy.
Economically, most Ghanaians go to China and continually bring goods from china; the farthest most of these Ghanaians went was to import three to five containers of goods. They could sell everything and go back within six months. With the influx of the Chinese and their economic power, they can import thirty containers of goods at a time making it impossible for our Ghanaian folks to go back and bring more goods after six months. This goes a long way in stifling the entrepreneurial ideas of Ghanaians in this sector.
Also, my motivation to write this article came from the poor quality of goods that has flooded our markets. I bought a multi-socket which nearly set my house ablaze and it boldly and proudly had “Made in China” inscribed on it. Of late, there is no need buying a home theater with a woofer because the Chinese phones on the market can isochronically perform the task of the home theater. I would not hesitate to say that these phones can cause ear related ailments.
To borrow this lexicon from my lecturer Mr. Amakye Boateng, “who born dog” for any Chinese to engage in illegal mining in the US or even in china. The persons involved will be beheaded by the break of day.
It is a good measure by the government to clump down on the activities of foreign retailers in the country especially the Chinese. Moreover, because of the cheap Chinese textiles on the market, they are gradually killing local textile industries. Our local textiles industries are finding it difficult to even meet their production cost. Adding to that, the system does not protect local industries; the system offers the same leverage for weak local industries and the economically sound foreign producers.
Socially, it is evidently factual that Ghana needs infrastructural development but to broker a deal where a cargo plane full of Chinese will come and sign a contract is very questionable. These Chinese come and never go back, as explained earlier, they bring engineers, labourers and even chefs. The labourers and chefs after coming relinquish their duties as chefs and labourers and compete with us even for the roasting of plantain. Recently, I saw a Chinese holding a pick-axe and digging at the road construction site at Kumasi-Sunyani road, whiles this is a pure reserve for indigenous labour.
An incident happened in Zambia some years ago, a car belonging to a Chinese splashed muddy water on a Zambian. The Zambian stopped the Chinese and asked as to why he should speed on that muddy road. The Chinese in answering him chose rather to slap the Zambian for asking him that. Other natives around saw it and gave the Chinese a beating. The Chinese left the place and later brought four other Chinese with guns and they came to murder the Zambians who gave him that beating. This sparked up a local rift and the Zambians in the suburb ended up annihilating all Chinese in that suburb. State resources were later used in coiling the conflict. This nearly destroyed the diplomatic relations between Zambia and china. Ghana just cannot afford this here, recently, a car belonging to a Chinese with the Chinese doubling as the driver and the only person in the car just blew his horn continuously as if he was a high ranking government official and dodged the traffic whiles there was police presence. The above listed vices are only a few and if my readers will allow, I will state everything in my next writing.
A point worth noting is that, the Chinese hardly bring their children along when coming. In a conversation with a Chinese who understood English, he told me that most Chinese have been sensitize, conscientize and indoctrinated to love their education and training and would not love for their wards to be educated outside china, so after the exploration, extraction and extortion, they repatriate everything for proper education of their wards and the money never get to stay in the system to help us. Meanwhile, our leaders plan or make our education according to their political party manifestoes rather than subjecting it to the changing trends of the time. After polarizing our education, our leaders rather send our inadequate resources outside in educating their children.
As an unemployed graduate, I have rather employed my pen and paper to address this crucial phenomenon in the country. Underlisted are some suggested solutions:
Firstly, the presence of the Chinese in the country in itself are income generations points. The Chinese are economically endowed and we as a country can make the country very costly for them to live in and not make a fuss of us like they are making East Africa. I charge the police service, immigration, food and drugs board and all the stakeholders that the Chinese in the country are legally permitted income generations points. Spot fines, heavy taxes, levies, rates and royalties should be used to extract money from them because they will repatriate everything for the up keep of their wards and their country. For instance, a police stopping a Ghanaian commercial driver to collect one cedi is not profitable and not worth being in the scorching sun, the Chinese constantly engage in wrong parking, overspeeding and abuse of traffic regulations and the police can make hundred cedis within a minute because the Chinese are equally as corrupt as the ordinary uneducated commercial driver on the road.
Secondly, I think our laws on foreigners and for that the Chinese are quiet relaxed. I think our legal framework should be improved because our laws rather favour foreigners than Ghanaians. When we travel outside the country, every step we make is being monitored with suspicions; meanwhile our laws exalt foreigners to the detriment of Ghanaians. Our West African brothers in the retail business should be left alone after all we are all blacks and do not have the economic wherewithal as the Chinese and other the whites in the system. I am not sounding like a racist but we hardly get that leeway when we travel outside Ghana. I think our leaders should be very circumspect with the way they treat our West African brothers in the country because Ghanaians in other West African countries similarly are engaged in retail businesses in these West African countries.
Also, I think our leaders should empower Ghanaians and rely on local initiatives and expertise. We are in an era where someone with Master in Business Administration from the UK will be more favoured than someone with the same qualification from University of Ghana. There is lack of confidence in the local initiatives and expertise. Our educational system should be improved and be subject to the changing trends of the time and not according to any political party’s manifesto. It is about time Ghanaians are empowered enough to own multinational agencies. When this is done, a majority of their income will stay in the country. The rate at which wealthy people would want to educate their wards outside the country will minimize. Adding to this, our leaders should resource our health facilities and be confident enough to receive treatments here because after all these leaders end up dying outside the country.
To my fellow Ghanaians, it is about time we deleted mediocrity from our dictionary and rather filled our minds with positivism. It is also about time we placed premium on merit, ability and achievement rather than familiarity and affiliations. We as a country should not lower our standards to anyone or any super power. Opportunities should be created for all and sundry regardless of one’s political affiliations or ethnic inclinations.
Our institutions should be strengthened and improved; more should be created to be able to cope with the changing trends of the time. There are more Chinese in the United States of America than in Ghana but because of the strong institutions, no Chinese dare attempt any illegal activity. Every Ghanaian should add his or her voice to this phenomenon. In addition, let us not wait for what I call “the natural wave of change” to take place. “The natural wave of change”, whether political, economical, social or environmental is always disastrous because a considerable number of lives will be lost at the end of the of the day. The question next to be asked is, will it be your death or my death?
I moved further to commend our media houses regardless of their numerous demerits. They constantly bring up such pertinent issues for discussion and disseminate such information to the various indigenous languages for the understanding of the general populace. To mention a few, names like Kwami Sefa Kayi, Kwame Adinkra, Kwadwo Oppong Nkrumah, Captain Smart and Kwaku Baako should be commended for the good work they are doing in this direction. If President Mills is planning to award some people as former President Kufour did, my recommendation is surely going for these journalists.
The intellectual community is constantly being ridiculed and vilified but some people have demystified the intellectual community. Names like Professor Agyekum (aka Opanin Agyekum), Mr. Kwasi Amakye Boateng, Dr. S.Y Bimpong Buta, Dr. Charles Marfo, Dr. Kpesah White and the likes who constantly come on radio to educate the general public on such pertinent issues need to be commended. I would not just wait for these people to die before I write statements to praise them. All these people deserve national awards and a nation that does not honour it heroes is not worth dying for.
Even though I am an unemployed graduate, I will just not wait for the numbers of my likes to swell before I add my voice to such issues in my country because the takeover of the Ghanaian economy by the Chinese will increase the unemployment levels in the country. Economic power automatically comes with political power, if care is not taken these Chinese can even sponsor someone to contest for political power and work in their favour to explore, extract and extort our country. God bless Ghana and long live Ghana. Amen.
Story:Kwadwo Agyei Bioh