The Ghana-China Friendship Union (GCFU) regrets, attempt by some un-faced persons and foreign business interests in Ghana to undermine the peaceful relations existing between the Chinese and the Ghanaian Government.
Whilst GCFU over the years have worked hard with the Ghana-China Business Chamber of Commerce (GCBCC) to protect Ghanaian business interest, and trade in China and that of Chinese in Ghana, other interests disguised under the mining sector, are working hard to tarnish these distinguished achievements.
It will be re-called that, barely a week ago, some newspapers reported of the involvement of Chinese, workmen in small scale mining. Whilst this is so, it is also clear that, those Chinese men like their Ghanaian counter parts, work hand-in-hand and do not remain masters as opposed to some other companies in the mining industry where by virtue the of one's skin, such persons become controlling and superior to the Ghanaian. Indeed, the fact remains that many small scale mining companies owned by Ghanaians, use Chinese equipment and technology.
It is in this regard, coupled with the low cost of Chinese labour that, even in the most remote and uninhabitable terrains in the country, Chinese workmen this time around, find themselves working for Ghanaian owners.
Over the years, the Ghana China Business Chamber of Commerce (GCBCC) have worked hard to promote the migration of Ghanaian skilled labour to very remote parts of this country to operate mining equipment’s(with Chinese technology)imported for use by small scale mining companies owned by Ghanaian businessmen.
However, these efforts have been in futility as the locations of such industries are no longer attractive to identified Ghanaian skilled labour. In such difficult circumstances, the GCBCC have resolved to promote the use of cheaper alternatives such as; employing low cost Chinese skilled labour by Ghanaian business men.
This is especially so in the small scale mining sector, but a great cost to dear life. Thus, since 2005, over 87 Chinese men have been shot dead by armed robbers who attack them at their remote mining sites for gold. Hence, the resolution by such mining firms to arm their harmless Chinese nationals with licensed weapons used only for self-defence. Indeed just two days ago, another armed robbery attack for gold at a mining site employing 4 Chinese workmen at Manso Nkwanta has seen one Chinese person dead.
Last year, the GCFU attended all the business sessions held in China by the GCBCC to promote Chinese business interest in Ghana and advocated for the immediate amelioration of visa and other challenges confronting Ghanaian traders and business men to and in China. Whilst this advocacy is on-going in the best interest of the Ghanaian business man, the reverse is true for Chinese Businesses and workmen doing legal businesses in Ghana's mining sector.
Ghanaians have lived with Americans, Australians, South Africans and Brits in the mining sector (large and small scale) for several years. It is quite sad that today, the Chinese in such similar setting is being given the bad name only to be hanged.
As a developing nation in need of less expensive technologies as its bedrock for rapid economic development, it is sad to note how we are struggling to contend with the reality that, Chinese technology remains the most affordable, and where leading manufacturing companies such as Apple and other western companies are producing from China (using Chinese technology), we for no apparent reason are un-prepared to accept this reality.
However, under the auspices of the Ghana China Business Chamber of Commerce, several Ghanaian owned small scale mining industries leasing Chinese technology are heavily involved in providing social support for the mining communities, including boreholes, building of school blocks, computer donations, needy student scholarships, and lately, attempts to support the school feeding program from the next academic year in those mining communities.
In the coming weeks, GCFU will invite the press to some random small scale mining sites to authenticate our position in this matter. More so, as a country much touted for being "the world’s friendliest people” we should eschew any such tendencies that welcome and embrace some foreign nationals as opposed to others.
This is very important considering that Ghanaians are well travelled, and find themselves in various countries engage in all sorts of work. We should take a cue from the past where Ghanaians even in Nigeria (a sister country) found themselves been expelled from that country on account of Ghanaians taking over all sorts of work in that country. Never again Ghanaians!! We have been more accommodating, friendly and peaceful to each other and especially foreigners, and if this view hold same, let’s accept trade with Chinese in good faith so long as they abide with our rules of trade and forms of living.
We shall also work hard with the Ghana China Business Chamber of Commerce to streamline its actions and where culpable, discipline or deport immediately any bad nut amongst the otherwise peaceful China work force here in Ghana as and when necessary irrespective of the area of commerce they find themselves. We shall also intensify advocacy for the GCBCC to increase its activities in the areas of land reclamation and aid to small scale mining communities.
Haruna Nsiah - Social Policy Coordinator Kwame Agyei Kodie - Public Relations Coordinator