Unbeknownst to Ghanaians, while the illegal mining mafia in the Akufo Addo administration was facilitating Chinese illegal miners, aka Galamsey, China has been surreptitiously developing strains of cocoa to be cultivated in that country.
In October 2020, China exported its first 500 kilograms of cocoa to Belgium and earned an incredible US$3,600 from it. This is seven times more than what cocoa producers earn in Ghana from the same quantity of cocoa beans exported from Ghana.
China’s cocoa plantations in the Southern island province of Hainan are reportedly grown in massive stretches of greenhouses that mimic tropical weather, although Hainan has weather close to tropical too.
“Cocoa is a raw material for making chocolate. With the increasing demand for chocolates, Hainan has been expanding its cocoa planting area and making breakthroughs in technological development,” Hao Zhaoyun, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences (CATAS) told the media.
“As Belgium is dubbed ‘kingdom of chocolates,’ exports to the country indicate that our cocoa production standards have been recognized by the international community,” Hao added.
China is projecting that it will meet its entire local demand for cocoa and its products by 2030, thus starving Ghana of export revenues derived from shipping its beans to China.
Meanwhile, the Military and officials of the Akufo Addo administration are heavily protecting illegal Chinese miners and their local conspirators who are destroying large swathe of cocoa farms to mine for gold.
Several ministers and party officials have been fingered in the illegal, destructive but lucrative mining including Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, the former Minister of Science and Environment and the then-Chairman of the Inter-ministerial Committee Against Illegal Mining (IMCIM) who was caught on tape discussing how to distribute seized illegal mining excavators to party officials to use it to mine their concessions and repatriate funds into the coffers of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Other names such as John Boadu, NPP General Secretary and Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah have all featured in those fingered to be controlling illegal mining concessions. They have denied the allegations, but insiders could swear that they are indeed part of the mining mafia.
While holding his former portfolio as Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo became infamous for his spirited defence of Aisha Huang, a notorious Chinese illegal miner nicknamed “Galamsey Queen”. Aisha Huang has reportedly destroyed several cocoa plantations with the due backing of government officials and had even been named in the murder of a man for resisting her rampage through the farms.
When she was arrested, the Akufo Addo administration refused to prosecute her but allowed her to spirit her loot away to China, where she was later deported.
When confronted during a town hall meeting in the USA, Mr. Osafo Maafo shot down the agitation for Aisha Huang’s prosecution, saying her arrest will not bring any fresh development to Ghana, and that because Ghana was negotiating a questionable US$2 billion Sinohydro loan from China, the Akufo Addo government would not want to offset the cart by arresting the notorious Chinese.
Observers are of the opinion that the entire illegal mining operations of the Chinese that have led to the destruction of virgin forests, cocoa plantations and river bodies in Ghana was a dialectic to distract Ghana from realising that China was actually developing its own cocoa plantations.
During the National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration of late Professor John Evans Atta-Mills and John Dramani Mahama, the Chinese entered a barter deal with Ghana to construct the country’s second hydropower plant at Bui in return for cocoa from Ghana.
Whatsup News has learnt that during that time, China intensified its research into developing its own cocoa plantations to avoid being reliant on Ghana. In the drive towards self-sustainability in the cocoa industry, it mounted the relentless collateral destruction of Ghana’s cocoa plantations when its country’s illegal miners invaded Ghana with huge earthmoving machines.
As stated by Osafo Maafo, the Akufo Addo administration decided to play kids’ gloves with the Chinese miners because Ghana was expecting some U$2 billion Sinohydro “loan”.
Eventually, a bulk of the loan never materialised, but Chinese miners had taken home several billions in gold mined from Ghana and had destroyed major cash crops in the process.