The government of Ghana must drop the uber-daft idea of mining the bauxite deposits in the Atewa Range. Instead of losing natural capital that is priceless, through bauxite mining, if the Atewa Forest Reserve is turned into a national park, it will transform the local economy of Akyem Abuakwa, into one that is anchored on ecotourism.
Ecotourism will create jobs galore for young people, and lead to the development of an entrepreneurial culture, which will empower a new breed of green entrepreneurs, who will ensure that the wealth from ecotourism stays in Ghana. It is called sustainable development - which is what Ghana needs in the era of global warming and climate change.
What we must aim for, as a wise and aspirational people, is to develop a West African integrated aluminium industry, in which sister nations in our sub-region - such as Guinea Sierra Leone and Liberia - supply bauxite that is processed and smeltered by Valco, in Ghana. Simple.
The question is: Could SinoHydro not be repaid - for the U.S. $2.5 billion it is lending to Ghana for infrastructural development - by empowering it to be able to sell carbon credits, which will enable Chinese companies to neutralise their massive carbon footprints, as they gear up for China's transition to a new green economy? The plain truth, is that destroying the Atewa Forest, will be catastrophic for Ghana. Full stop. Haaba
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