Ghana Eyes Economic Rebound as It Opens Land and Sea Borders

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 Ghana expects an economic rebound as it moves to open land and sea borders to mark the end of Covid-19 restrictions imposed at the beginning of the pandemic.

“It has been a difficult two years for all of us, and we are seeing light at the end of a very long tunnel,” President Nana Akufo-Addo said in a televised broadcast Sunday. “I assure you that, sooner rather than later, our economy will rebound from the ravages of Covid-19.”

Starting from Monday, fully vaccinated travelers will be allowed entry through land and sea borders without a negative PCR test result, Akufo-Addo said. Citizens and foreign residents in Ghana who aren’t fully vaccinated will be required to produce a negative 48-hour PCR test result, and will be offered vaccination on arrival, he said.

While Ghana’s economy recovered from a pandemic-induced recession in the third quarter of 2020, its overall financial health has yet to bounce back due to an increase in its budget deficit and debt levels. A sell-off in the nation’s international bonds since the latter part of last year forced the government to deepen expenditure cuts last week to 30% of the planned budget for 2022.

Ghana Deepens Spending Cuts to Achieve Budget-Deficit Target

Policies the government is implementing will help boost economic growth “at a much faster rate, help create jobs for the youth, and help us overcome the difficulties we are faced with,” the president said. The economy is forecast to grow 5.8% this year from a projected 5.1% for 2021.

Ghana’s total number of active coronavirus cases stood at 72 on March 25, and no people are severely or critically ill, Akufo-Addo said. The country has administered 13.1 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines so far, and expects to achieve its target of vaccinating 20 million Ghanaians by June, he said.

People traveling by air into Ghana who are fully vaccinated will no longer be required to take PCR tests from the country of embarkation to allow them entry, and they won’t be tested on arrival, Akufo-Addo said. Travelers without Covid-19 jabs, however, must have a 72-hour negative PCR test result prior to embarkation, take an antigen test on arrival, and will be offered vaccination, he said.

The president said the wearing of face masks is no longer mandatory from March 28, while all in-person activities such as those in churches, mosques, conferences, cinemas and theaters, as well as outdoor functions at sporting events and political rallies, can resume at full capacity, as long as the audience and participants are fully vaccinated.

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.