Ghana says signs $13 bln in Chinese loan deals
By Kwasi Kpodo
ACCRA (Reuters) - Ghana signed nearly $13 billion worth of loan deals with Chinese investors, the government said on Wednesday, announcing one of China's largest financial commitments in Africa to date.
The accords, signed during a visit by President John Atta Mills to Beijing, were viewed with caution by analysts noted a lack of specifics over the terms and who added that loans of that size could violate Ghana's IMF commitments.
The accords are aimed at funding energy, agriculture and transport projects in the West African state, Ghana's Deputy Finance Minister Fiifi Kwetey said by telephone from Beijing.
China has signed a slew of other big money deals across Africa -- including a $6 billion deal with Congo -- as it seeks to lock up resources to fuel its dramatic growth, and it is among the investors competing for a stake in Ghana's offshore Jubilee oil field.
The new loans include $3 billion from the Chinese Development Bank to finance Ghana's oil and gas infrastructure and agricultural development, Kwetey told Reuters.
"It's a comprehensive facility that would be used to develop the oil and gas sector and also to scale up infrastructure for agro-industries throughout the country," Kwetey said.
A second deal for $9.87 billion was signed with Chinese Exim Bank for road, railway and dam work, he said.
Kwetey said the broad framework for the use of the loans had been agreed but he declined to give details and said the specifics would be worked out later. He added the loans will require final approval from Ghana's parliament. Continued...