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Ghanaians demonstrate over economic crisis as Akufo-Addo appears unable to bring ‘dead economy’ back to life

 

 

Scores of Ghanaians have hit the streets in Ghana’s national capital, Accra, to demonstrate over rising cost of living.

The Arise Ghana demonstration started on Tuesday, June 28, 2022 and is expected to take place for two days.

It comes several days after citizens across the West African nation expressed their frustrations over high prices of food items and general hardships.

A picture from the Arise Ghana demonstration

Committee set up

The Government of Ghana has already set up a Cabinet-level committee to investigate the causes of rising food prices in Ghana.

The five-member committee include Food and Agriculture Minister, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Transport Minister, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, Caretaker Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Cecilia Abena Dapaah, Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyeremanten, as well as Minister of Local Government and Decentralization, Dan Kwaku Botwe.

They are to probe the cause of high prices of food items in Ghana and advice the President Nana Akufo-Addo government on the decisions to take to address the situation.

Blame game

President Nana Akufo-Addo had in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak in Ghana in 2020 said that his government knew how to bring Ghanaian economy back to life and that what his government did not know was how to bring people back to life.

He said in his speech to the nation back then that “We know how to bring the economy back to life. What we do not know is how to bring people back to life.”

However, what African Entertainment has observed from the Akufo-Addo’s government in recent weeks has been blame game over the economic crisis.

As African Entertainment previously reported, the Government had earlier blamed the Russia-Ukraine war for the rising food crisis in Ghana. Ghana’s economy is in a deep mess and citizens who have formed a group called Arise Ghana are staging the protest to demand urgent actions from the government, including going to the International Monetary Fund for a bailout.

A picture from the Arise Ghana demonstration

The Russian Embassy in Ghana flatly rejected the claims by the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) Government of Ghana that the war in Ukraine was to blame for the current challenges in Ghana’s agriculture sector.

According to the Embassy in a Twitter thread, the Russia-Ukraine war was not responsible for the current mess in Ghana’s agriculture sector.

Rather, the Embassy pointed out emphatically that the challenges facing Ghana’s agriculture sector was as a result some happenings on the world market.

A picture from the Arise Ghana demonstration

In the Twitter thread sighted by African Entertainment, the Embassy explained that “The current situation in the food markets is not a result of two months of this year, but a steady trend of at least two years. Food prices started rising in mid-2020 and reached an all-time high in February 2022. This is a real market shock caused by high demand and rising prices on food, raw materials, and transportation services, including freight, in the post-COVID recovery period.”

Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia and members of Ghana’s Economic Management Team which he heads have in recent time sought to use the Russia-Ukraine war to cover up their mismanagement of the Ghanaian economy which has resulted in hardships for many Ghanaians.

The ruling Government’s communicators on a daily basis blame the coronavirus pandemic and most recently the Russia-Ukraine war for the economic woes facing Ghana which is making life unbearable for ordinary citizens.

The Russia-Ukraine started just in February 2022.

Interestingly, the economic mess in the country which Ghanaians have been complaining about for months, leading to the #FixTheCountry movement, is now being attributed to the war.

Dr. Bawumia recently after several months of silence on the economic meltdown in Ghana, came out to tell Ghanaians that the Russia-Ukraine war and coronavirus were badly affecting the economy of Ghana.

The Ghanaian Vice President while speaking at a public lecture at Kasoa in the Central Region of Ghana explained “the increase in commodity prices has been exacerbated by the Russia-Ukraine conflict.”

He noted that “Russia and Ukraine together account for 30% of global wheat exports; the longer the conflict ensues, the greater will be the disruption to global food supplies. The conflict is also likely to slow down global growth.”

But the Russian Embassy insisted that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was not to blame for the economic woes in Ghana.

Countering Dr. Bawumia’s claims, the Embassy explained that “The annual growth rate of wheat prices in 2021 amounted up to 25%. By February 2022, they exceeded the average prices for 2017-2021 by 31-62%. The cost of com for the years of 2020 – 2021 increased by 162%, for rapeseed – by 175%.”

The Embassy went on to recount that “in 2020 and 2021 the WFP has repeatedly warned that as the world was dealing with coronavirus pandemic, it was also “on the brink of a hunger pandemic” that could lead to “multiple famines of biblical proportions.”

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