Russia, China Must Guide Ghana’s Political Development – Rawlings

Former President, Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings says long-term friends of Ghana such as Russia and China owe it a duty to make known their observations about political developments in the country “on account of the bumpy roads we have been through in the past”.

He said Ghana is going through challenges with its multi-party democratic process and “we need support and advice from our friends. We owe it to the future of our relationships.”

The former President was speaking when he met the Russian and Chinese Ambassadors at separate meetings at his Ridge office in Accra on Wednesday.

Speaking to the Russian Ambassador, Mr. Vladimir Barbin, the former President said Ghana is still seen as African pacesetter and that opportunity will be wasted if countries such as Russia hold back on raising concerns about areas of our political development that may not be heading in the right direction.

“Ghana cannot waste its role as a pacesetter and should be encouraged to maintain the standards that made it a pacesetter so Africa can gain strength from the example we have to offer,” President Rawlings said.

Earlier Mr. Barbin, who assumed office in February 2010, said Russia sees Ghana as a good friend and had always held Ghana in high regard. He said his country would continue to support Ghana’s infrastructural development, particularly in the oil, liquid gas and agricultural sectors.

The Ambassador disclosed that Russian companies were already in Ghana drilling for oil and gas with some good prospects. He said he has already held discussions with the Energy Ministry, the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) and the Volta River Authority (VRA) on potential cooperation in the energy sector.

Mr. Barbin said Russia was also exploring areas of cooperation in the agricultural sector as several companies from his country had expressed interest in large scale farming because of the friendly weather climate.

Speaking to the new Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, Mr. Gong Jianzhong, former President Rawlings said he had been posted to the country at a complex and trying period for the country. He commended China for the economic support it had offered Ghana over the years and said, “We are duty bound to build on the relationship between the two countries.”

The former President recalled the indignity Chinese were subjected to after Nkrumah’s overthrow and also reminded them they have a political obligation to make suggestions and offer advice where they clearly see that our political path is going wayward.

Flt Lt Rawlings said: “While China is making steady progress we [Ghana] have staggered.” He also spoke of the energy and sacrifice Ghanaians had endured since 1979 and said while capitalism has its positive effects it has presently made the rich exceedingly rich and impoverished many more.

Earlier the Mr. Jianzhong who is undertaking his first posting to Africa said prior to being appointed to Ghana he had heard “good stories” about China’s enduring relationship with Ghana and said he was honoured to be posted to Ghana.

The Chinese Ambassador said Chinese shared the joy and pains of Ghanaians during the 2010 World Cup stating that the fighting spirit of the youthful Black Stars particularly impressed his countrymen. “Chinese do feel proud of Ghana,” he added.

Vice-Chairman of the National Democratic Congress, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings accompanied her husband at both meetings.

4 comments

  1. yeah,capitalism has failed us a country. The Chinese and Russians have something good to offer Africans especially, Ghana. The Chinese are the only people and country that can help Africans, Ghana especially realise their dreams.We Ghanaians must contact and fall on the Chinese people 24 hours for whatever we do or intend to do.The Chinese have more than it takes to see Ghana and for that matter Africa through. Lets us see how the Chinese are developing through had work and the love for their country and people.We Africans, especially,Ghana have very good lessons to learn from the Chinese. We need the Chinese everyday, everytime and second in our developmental projects and programs.

  2. What in the world are you talking about ex president Rawlings. You know what?, I cannot believe you do have people who actually listen to you and the insanity you belp every now and then. Are you sure you really understand what you talk about or you basically cannot deliver what you actually mean because if you cannot express yourself that is different ball game,we will understand but if you actually believe the insanity that comes out of your mouth then I do have a problem with you and the rest of the Ghanaian public. So please before you talk kindly think about the pros and cons and try to let every skeptic become believers because we are a very intelligent group of people(Ghanaians) who are allergic to bullshit.Ghana has potential in becoming what the world would have to succumb in calling us “developed nation” of Africa. So please know when to be smart and dump to maximise your potential Mr ex-president. We are a special country and believe it or not other countries are out there to exploit us because we have all it takes to be the best. Money talks and bullsh*t walks dont let anyone from another country sweet talk you in using your influence to sell your country. If you love your country you will love your people and you will earn that respect.

    • Who are you Mike? ..I love and respect your thoughts. I wish you had your own coloumn in a news paper. Whereever you are dont stop your comment at least we know we have a future hidding somewhere for the country. Thank you

  3. JJ paa, what’s wrong with this man, RUSSIA AND CHINA, why not AMERICA?? America is the leader of Democracy and CHINA is a dictatorship, RUSSIA a little bit of both!

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