Ghana traders threaten to close shops over inflation

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Shop owners in Ghana are threatening to close their business premises next Monday to protest against the weakening of the country’s currency, the cedi. 

At 10 cedis to the US dollar, traders are finding it difficult to stay in business as the cost of importing and clearing goods continues to rise.

The cost of most basic goods and services has doubled over the last couple of months in Ghana, but incomes have not risen for the most part.

The Ghana Union of Traders Associations president, Joseph Obeng, has said increasing interest rates and multiple taxes borne by traders were some of the factors responsible for increase in commodity prices.

“We are demonstrating against the government to show the extent that we are suffering… The intention is not to punish the consuming public,” said Mr Obeng.

In solidarity with the planned demonstration, the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders, an umbrella body for clearing agents, says it will also cease operations on Monday.

Ghana’s cost of living has risen exponentially, with inflation now at over 31% – the highest in the last 20 years. 

The government has constantly blamed the Covid-19 pandemic and the recent Russia-Ukraine war as some of the drivers of the harsh economic climate.

But there were already concerns about the country’s public debt which now stands at $45.5bn (£38.3bn) – which is more than 77% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.