June 29, 2022

Protests intensify in Ghana over economic hardship

Protests intensify in Ghana over economic hardship

Protests over economic hardship and rising inflation in Ghana have reached second day as people in their hundreds thronged the streets to express their displeasure over the country’s situation.

The demonstration, according to reports, was a two-day protest led by local lobby group “Arise Ghana,” intended to denounce the economic hardships.

Meanwhile, there was a clash between the Police in Accra and hundreds of demonstrators, who had stepped out of the approved route for the protesters.

Police fired teargas, rubber bullets and hot water to disperse an angry crowd, who had veered off the stipulated routes for the protest, according to Arise Ghana.

The police claimed they were forced to use teargas and water cannons to restore order after demonstrators threw stones and burnt tyres on the road.

In a statement, the police said twelve officers were reported injured while some police vehicles were damaged, adding that protesters failed to follow “court-approved routes.”

The Ghanaian people’s protests were anchored on fuel price hikes, a tax on electronic payments and other levies, just as the country struggled with an economic downturn.

Findings showed that a litre of petrol in Ghana as of 20 June 2022, sold at 10.23 Ghanaian cedis (GHS), corresponding to roughly 1.29 U.S. dollars, equivalent to N535.50 in Nigeria.

Recently, Ghanaians have been witnessing record inflation, occasioned by the fallout of the Ukraine war amid cuts in government spending to check debt crisis.

Prior to the protest, Ghana’s economic growth slowed to 3.3% year-on-year in the first quarter and inflation hit a new record of 27.6% in May despite sweeping spending cuts and other measures to redress the financial situation.

Also, the West African gold, oil and cocoa producer is also grappling with high debt and a depreciating local currency.

Amid its impending debt crisis, the Gnanian government has consistently ruled out asking the International Monetary Fund for assistance.