DI holds forum on $3 billion Chinese loan

Mon, 17 Oct 2011 Source:

The Danquah Institute in collaboration with its media partners, Citi FM and Hot FM, is holding a forum on the $3 billion Chinese loan on Tuesday, 18thOctober 2011.

The forum is similar to the one organised by the institute which scrutinised the STX Housing project where serious objections were raised with regards to certain aspects of the loan. These objections resulted in major changes being made to the agreement, and has subsequently saved this country billions of dollars.

Even though parliament has approved the $3 billion deal indicating an agreement is in place between Ghana and the Chinese Development Bank Corporation, we believe there are still fundamental concerns that need to be addressed before the start of an execution of the deal. This forum, we believe, will safeguard the interests of our dear nation.

As already outlined by the institute, some of the fundamental concerns that have been raised by the general public, civil society organisations, the minority in parliament include:

· the commercial nature of the $3 billion loan

· the omnibus nature of the $3 billion loan as it contains a long list of project financing deals boxed under one agreement without any details of the specific projects involved;

· 15 percent counterpart funding, which translates to $450 million making the total loan available to $3.45 billion;

· wide ranges of costs of the projects to be undertaken;

· the breaching of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act with regards to the second tranche of the loan which requires the loan repayment be done over a period of 15 years; and

· the decision by government to commit Ghana’s oil revenues to offset the loan among others

The discussions will centre on the prospects of funding our development and the current international money market situation, Ghana’s prospect of issuing a sovereign bond, debt sustainability issues and the view points of government and the opposition on the $3 billion Chinese loan.

Panellists at the forum will include:

· *Dr Sam Mensah*, Executive Chairman of SEM Capital Management Limited who will speak on the topic “Leveraging Ghana’s Oil Economy to raise money on the Capital Market to fund Development”;

· *Mohammed Amin Adam* from the Civil Society on Oil & Gas who will touch on “Expectations from oil and gas; Risks and advantages involved in the collateralisation of oil revenues”;

· *Kofi Bentil, *senior fellow, IMANI Ghana who will speak on “Chinese investments in Africa. Is it a win-win situation at value for money?”;

· *Seth Terkper, *deputy Minister for Finance who will analyse the $3 billion Chinese loan agreement from a government’s perspective;

· *Prof Gyan Baffour, *former deputy Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament for Wenchi, who will also analyse the $3 billion Chinese loan agreement from the opposition’s perspective;

· *Sebastien C. Dessus*, the Chief Economist at the World Bank Country office who will speak on the topic “Strengthening the public investment management framework”; and

· *A representative from Databank, *who will deliver a presentation on the payment terms of the $3 billion Chinese loan

The venue for the forum is Citizen Kofi and the time is 10:00am. Citi FM will provide a live coverage of the event.