Ghana, China must consider bilateral relations before fighting over galamsey – expert

General News

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 Khoo-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 Khoo-Dzisi’s comments come in the wake of claims by some Ghanaian businessmen that they are being harassed by Chinese officials in circumstances they believe is a retaliation for Ghana’s anti-galamsey campaigns.

However, some Ghanaian businessmen lament being disrespected and harassed at the airports in China, their goods confiscated without explanation.

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 Khoo-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 relationship.

“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 practice? 

“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 situation.  

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