China is donating four patrol boats, machineguns and ammunition to Ghana as part of its efforts to strengthen defence cooperation with the West African country.
The donation, worth 20 million Yuan ($3 million), was announced by Colonel M Atintande (Rtd), the Director of Public Affairs, Ministry of Defence, late last month. Atintande said the equipment will comprise of four patrol boats with spare parts, four vehicle mounted machine guns plus mounting racks, tools and spare parts, and 120 000 rounds of amour-piecing incendiary (API) ammunition.
The equipment will delivered over a three-year period after Ghana and China signed an agreement relating to the military aid, which is being provided free of charge by China. The agreement was signed in October by Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, Madam Sun Baohong and the Minister of Defence Dr Benjamin Kunbour.
The Ghana News Agency quoted Baohong as saying China looks forward to further engagement with Ghana’s military and security services while Kunbour said his visit to China in 2015 helped lead to the signing of a memorandum of understanding regarding defence cooperation.
Ghana has bought military hardware from China on previous occasions, ordering two 46 metre patrol vessels from Poly Technologies in 2008 to boost its naval capabilities. The Chemle and Ehoo were commissioned in 2011 and another two 46 metre vessels were ordered later under a separate contract. These acquisitions were part of a major naval expansion drive that saw fast attack craft and patrol boats delivered from South Korea, the United States and Germany.
On the aerial side, in September 2015 the Ghana Air Force commissioned into service four Z-9EH helicopters from China, which are being used to secure the West African nation’s oil and gas industry. Ghana is also acquiring a single Mi-35 attack helicopter and recently bought another C295 transport.