Accra, Ghana, September 25, 2018:The inherent dangers of this agreement can only be seen when analyzed in the light of the Chinese EXIM conditions.
The infrastructure barter deal being contemplated by government of Ghana with China Synohydro, a Chinese state-owned Engineering and Construction Company, will be the worse deal ever signed by any sovereign state.
Ghana badly needs infrastructure to power its development.
China on the other hand, is willing to facilitate this deal but spells out a clear condition that says Ghana must handover the country’s Digital Terrestrial Transmission (DTT) platform to StarTimes, a private Chinese company.
As a country, we may have done all our analysis and in the foreseeable future, Ghana is expected to have its required infrastructure. Make no mistake, the Chinese have also done their calculations, perhaps far more into our unforeseeable future and they know the net benefit of this deal weighs heavily in their favour.
We do not even have to rely on Value for Money (VfM) analysis to resolve the risk, problems inherent in this arrangement.
If the recent publications of the Government of China intervening to confiscate strategic National Assets and installations of some sovereign developing countries is anything to go by, then I shudder to think that, we’re going into a worse form of it with our eyes widely opened and the looming danger looking at us.
In the likely event of a contractual agreement default, expect the Chinese government to come for our strategic installations and confiscating same. This is when national sovereignty is threatened because of badly negotiated government contracts and the only vanguard for the citizenry is the recourse to mass media to vent out our concerns to the world.
It may just look like the Chinese are taking proactive steps to secure the absolute control of the Ghanaian media to shut-down dissent when it happens.
The Chinese, know that, mass media are a potent means of galvanizing popular revolt, hence their disdain for competitive media and freedom of speech.
StarTimes is taking absolute control of our media spectrum to aid reprisals against Ghanaians if in future we decide to revolt against the predator Chinese policy.
By Sulleyman Abdul-Wahab, Public Policy Expert,
Development Finance Major,
Certified Public Private Partnership (PPP) specialist