[ 2017-04-19 ]
Ghana, China must consider bilateral relations before fighting over galamsey
An international relations lecturer has cautioned
the governments of Ghana and China to consider
their strong economic relations before escalating
a row over Ghana's fight against illegal mining
known as galamsey.
Dr Agnes Khoor-Dzisi said the Foreign Affairs
Ministry must inform its counterpart in China that
efforts to clamp down on the activities of illegal
miners have nothing to do with its nationals.
This, Webster University-Ghana Campus lecturer
believes will douse the animosity that is rearing
its head since the start of anti-galamsey
campaigns in the country.
Dr Khoor-Dzisi's comments come in the wake of
claims by some Ghanaian businessmen in China that
they are being harassed by Chinese officials in
circumstances they believe is a retaliation for
Ghana's anti-galamsey campaigns.
They say they are being unduly harassed in their
day to day activities.
They claim 70 Accra-bound consignments, for
instance, have reportedly been impounded by
Chinese customs officials in the last three weeks
whilst visa-processing requirements have been
The businessmen have appealled to the Foreign
Affairs Ministry to intervene in alleged
maltreatment against them by Chinese authorities
following government’s clamp down on illegal
mining, or galamsey.
Related: Anti-galamsey fight: China allegedly
hitting back at Ghanaian businesses
There is mounting pressure on President Nana Addo
Dankwa Akufo-Addo government to end galamsey in
the country, but this has come with some
The Chinese Embassy in Ghana has warned of dire
diplomatic consequences if attacks on Chinese
nationals in the media are not curtailed by the
The Chinese are heavily involved in illegal mining
activities popularly referred to as 'galamsey' in
Ghana and the Lands and Natural Resources Ministry
has given a three-week ultimatum to illegal miners
to cease their operations or risk confiscation of
That ultimatum expires in less than 24 hours.
President Nana Akufo-Addo has said Ghana will
continue to have a cordial relationship with the
Chinese, adding he will ensure full enforcement of
the law without fear or favour.
He said Ghana, as a country does not hate the
Chinese, nonetheless the laws governing foreign
nationals in trade and business will be applied to
The President said his administration will
continue to find lasting solutions to the menace
of illegal mining.
Related: We don't hate Chinese; our laws must work
However, some Ghanaian businessmen lament being
disrespected and harassed at the airports in
China, their goods confiscated without
The lecturer empathised with Ghanaian businessmen
who are facing difficulties in
transacting business in China. She advised the
governments of China and Ghana to move beyond the
anti-galamsey campaign and maintain the long-term
mutual relationship they have had.
"It is a very positive sign that the two countries
are growing from strength to strength with the
increase in trade and investments and the galamsey
issue is unfortunate and something that should not
have happened in the first place.
Related: Dealing with ‘galamsey’: China cannot
tell us what to do – Lloyd Amoah
Dr Khoor-Dzisi said the two countries must look at
the bigger picture and longer vision of what they
stand to benefit from each other through their
“How can we look at making both countries strong
looking at the economic interest based on equal
grounds, based on mutual respect, trust and good
“It is important to look at how these Chinese
manage to get their permits to come to Ghana to
engage in an activity such as galamsey.
“What is their understanding of Ghanaian laws in
the face of what they engage in? What kind of
impression do they get regarding their permits and
license," she quizzed.
According to her, the two countries should be an
analytical, detailed and rigorous in assessing the
Source - Myjoyonline.com
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