Keeping the lights on

Ghana and the world are going through what many describes as economic trauma and it is no fault of Ghanaians or Ghana as a country. The economic situation in Ghana will improve but Ghanaians don’t really know when their situation will be resolved.

In 2017, the Ghanaian economy grew by 8.5 percent and Ghana was among the fastest growing economy. For 2018, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecast growth of 6.3 percent. The economic challenges facing the country include high inflation, a high level of state debt and heavy fluctuations in foreign direct investment coupled with the global crisis with Russia-Ukraine war worsen the country’s situation and only the Lord God Almighty knows what will happen in the near future when these will come to an end.

The Ghanaian government has consistently ruled out asking the International Monetary Fund for assistance. There have been series of demonstration in recent months in Ghana due to the hardships Ghanaians are experiencing. A typical one was the Arise Ghana, a group comprising civil society actors, political party leaders, media practitioners, and trade union members who hit the streets of Accra to register their displeasure to the government to wake up from his sleep if indeed that is the situation purported to be. Arise Ghana intended to denounce the economic hardships in Ghana. The recent trends in Ghana is that protestors, clad in red and black attire, held placards with inscriptions such as ‘We’re dying’, ‘President Do Something For The People of Ghana Are Suffering’, among others. Protests over economic hardship and rising inflation in Ghana went into a second day as people in their hundreds thronged the streets to express their displeasure over the country’s situation.

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‘Russia-Ukraine war has nothing to do with the hikes’, ‘Reduce fuel prices now!’, ‘We won’t allow you to kill us before our time; Job opportunities for all-scam; Repeal the E-levy Act now’. These were among the demands of the demonstrators. Others read ‘Call for the immediate withdrawal of the E-Levy act’, ‘The scrapping of the Borla tax and the numerous taxes on fuel’. Ghanaians’ hardship is anchored on fuel price hikes, a tax on electronic payments, increment of food prices by the day and other levies, just as the country struggled with an economic downturn.

Recently, Ghanaians have been witnessing record inflation, occasioned by the fallout of the Ukraine war amid cuts in government spending to check debt crisis. Unless I forget, the West African gold, oil and cocoa producer is also grappling with high debt and a depreciating local currency. The less talk about the Cedi depreciation to the dollar the better. Ghanaians are of the hope that, at least, the rising dollar will come down by end of September-November.

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The lights, however, could have been hardly maintained, yet they are on. But the good Ghanaian is not happy with the fact that the lights are still on. Who cares anyway? As someone will say, “Ebi the light we go chop”? forgetting that, government in his wisdom, paying millions of dollars to keep the lights on for the good people of this country to enjoy. Good times ahead but the current situation in Ghana is not that easy at all.

By Romeo Oduro

Email: [email protected]


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