Theories advanced in the political economy literature concerning China’s presence in Africa have often focused on Beijing’s motive, leaving under-theorized the dynamics that may be causing the responsiveness and embrace of China by these African states. The president of Ghana at the 73rd UN General Assembly defended Chinese investment in Africa and described China as the new avenue that Africans can resort to address their problems. This naturally raises the question of whether African countries and Ghana specifically, are abandoning their traditional neoliberal source of major financial assistance, the IMF and World Bank, and turning to China. It is therefore imperative to understand what mechanisms are necessitating the embrace of Chinese loans and the logic behind state actors’ disinclination from traditional financial sources. This is especially critical when the two neoliberal economic institutions have been major traditional pillars of Ghana’s economy. To unpack these mechanisms, the article takes a theoretical approach grounded on the historical economic relations between Ghana and China vis-à-vis Ghana and neoliberal institutions. Through an analysis of state actors’ rhetoric on economic governance and new financing models, the paper posits two rationales behind Ghana’s embrace of Chinese loans. The first being the need to improve the living standards of Ghanaians and address the persistent public grievances over neoliberal policies, and the second being the recognition of a window of opportunity in the global economic order.
Key words: Ghana, China, state actors, economic governance, financing models.
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