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Opinions of Tuesday, 5 July 2022

Columnist: James Kofi Oduro

How comparable is Ghana with China, Madam Akua Afriyie?

Akua Afriyie, Ghana's Deputy Ambassador to China Akua Afriyie, Ghana's Deputy Ambassador to China

Ghana's Deputy Ambassador to China, Madam Akua Afriyie, has extreme pathological problems and she has displayed her deep-seated illiteracy about China. There was no doubt that in May this year, the Greater Accra Regional Chairman of the Governing NPP, Divine Otoo Agorhom, dropped a bombshell on the appointment of former Member of Parliament of Ablekuma North constituency, Madam Akua Afriyie as Ghana's Deputy Ambassador to China.

On the official website, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo last year presented letters of credence to 13 appointed envoys with a national duty on them. The envoys included three High Commissioners, eight Ambassadors, one deputy High Commissioner, and a deputy Ambassador, of which Madam Akua Afriyie's name was mentioned.

However, Madam Akua Afriyie's appointment was a reward from the President for her active role in securing the Dome-Kwabenya seat during the 2020 Parliamentary elections.

On June 20, the headline "Stop complaining of hardship; Ghana better than many foreign countries including China – Deputy China Ambassador" was published on PeaceFM Online and was reprinted from Ghana News Agency.

Here is a story headlined - "Stop complaining of hardship; Ghana better than many foreign countries including China – Deputy China Ambassador" published on June 20. It was on the media website,

Ghana's Deputy Ambassador to China Madam Akua Afriyie asked Ghanaians to stop complaining too much of hardship arguing that the economic situation in Ghana is 90 percent better than many foreign countries.

In the view of the former MP for Ablekuma North Constituency, in spite of the global hardship, the Akufo-Addo administration is working to improve standards of living.

Citing China as an example, the Deputy Ambassador observed that the huge taxes and poor salary remuneration in China have worsened their economic situation insisting that Ghana is even better than China.

"There's hardship in Europe. I am the deputy ambassador for China and I can say things are difficult in China and Ghana is better than many other foreign countries including China. The citizens in China pay huge taxes and they do not earn any better salary too. Five small fishes can cost about GHS1,200", she stated.

She also added that "People are committing suicide and others are being arrested for engaging in criminalities so I can say that Ghana is better".

"Stop complaining of hardship and ask God to give President Akufo-Addo the needed wisdom to govern. President Akufo-Addo is doing very well," she told the host Kwesi Parker-Wilson.

Her comment comes on the back of a series of complaints by a cross-section of Ghanaians who are lamenting the harsh economic conditions. (End of her story)
In the wake of the Russia-Ukraine crisis that has shattered the global economy, China has not solicited the urgent assistance of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to put its economy in order. But, Ghana did!

The primary targeted aim is to halt the emerging social discontent, especially among the low-income and impoverished groups, throughout the country. The wealthy are also paying the high price for fuel and purchasing goods at high-inflationary prices in the country.

Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, says Ghana's economy before the coronavirus pandemic was on track, and further explained that Ghana's economy started struggling when the covid-19 pandemic struck including world economies and more recently the Russia-Ukraine war.

The performance of Ghana's economy between 2017 and 2019 was good, despite the fact there were still some structural challenges. But what really makes Ghana to be considered better than China, even several years before Covid 19 struck the world? What criteria or yardstick can be used to compare Ghana with China?
While you reflect on some rhetorical questions, Ghana's Deputy Ambassador to China, Madam Akua Afriyie, should also consider just a few facts about China:
(i) Despite its large population of 1.5 billion, China's domestic economic reforms and collaborative strategic diplomacy with external countries have made it attain superpower status over the United States.

What is Ghana's population? And why Ghana could not manage its tiny economy but has to run to IMF?
(ii) China has worked on all aspects of its economy and then on external investment footprints, and just look at its performance in providing all forms of investment in various sectors including putting up infrastructure in Africa.
Madam Akua Afriyie should know, at least, the new building of Ghana's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration. The Bui dam construction and many other infrastructure projects in Ghana alone.

Madam Akua Afriyie, most possibly, yet to read about similar Chinese-funded projects across the continent, where Beijing has also paid for the construction of palaces, sports stadiums and conference centres as part of a decades-old diplomatic strategy. You don't talk, at all, about the ultra-modern US$200 million African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
(iii) With the 1.5 billion population, China has brought more people out of extreme poverty than any other country in history. China reduced extreme poverty by 800 million.

What is Ghana's total population? Why President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the NPP administration have not improved, at least, 5% of the impoverished population in the country? The NPP is already in power for two terms.

(iv) China holds 17.7% of the world's total wealth. It has the world's largest banking sector, with assets of $40 trillion and the world's top 4 largest banks all being in China.

What do you have, Madam Akua Afriyie, in your Dome-Kwabenya constituency from where you were rewarded the post of Deputy Ambassador by President Nana Addo?

(v) There were 658 Chinese billionaires and 3.5 million millionaires. Deputy Ambassador Madam Akua Afriyie, please spend your time to read about China, and don't forget to travel on the world's fastest train while in China. Ghana awaits you after the successful completion of your mission. You will have a red carpet on arrival at Kotoka International Airport. Welcome to Ghana!