Members of Ghana’s major opposition National Democratic Congress took to the streets in the capital, Accra, on Tuesday to protest what they allege is mismanagement by the governor of the central bank, the high cost of living, and high inflation. It follows last week’s three-day protest over the lingering economic crisis in the West African country.
Clad in red and black — colors that signify a state of sorrow in Ghanaian culture — hundreds of protesters chanted revolutionary songs and carried placards bearing inscriptions such as “President Akufo-Addo is wicked,” “We cannot buy medicine,” “We are dying,” “Save Ghana now” and “Fix the country.”
Dubbed “OccupyBoGProtest,” the protesters demanded the resignation of Ernest Addison — who serves as the governor of the central bank known as the Bank of Ghana or BoG — over hyperinflation in the West African country.
Heavily guarded by riot police, the demonstrators accused the head of the treasury of overprinting money to fund the government’s alleged profligacy that has led to economic hardship.
“This Akufo-Addo government, together with the governor, haven’t been fair to Ghanaians,” said Cassiel Ato Forson, the minority leader in parliament. “In fact, Governor Addison printed for Akufo-Addo for them to live a champagne lifestyle. We can’t continue this way. Ghanaians are struggling and finding it difficult to survive. Some are struggling to eat three times in a day. We want this government out.”
Ghana, a major exporter of gold and cocoa, is steadily recovering from its worst economic crisis after agreeing to $3 billion in IMF relief support. Inflation has been on a decline, hitting a 10-month low in August at 40.1% from 43.1% in July. Protesters, however, say the cost of living is still too high. Reverend Sebastian Akpaloo of Christ Kingdom Worldwide Ministries was one of the
“The president is not listening to us,” said Akpaloo. “There is no money in the system. There is hardship and I give money to people every day to get food to eat. I pay people’s school fees. So, what again? We cannot carry guns and cutlasses. A leader must listen to the people.”
Government officials declined VOA’s request for an interview on the issue.
Daniel Amateye Anim, an economist with the Accra-based Policy Initiative of Economic Development Africa, said the government must reduce expenditures and focus on policies that will create jobs to alleviate the plight of ordinary Ghanaians.
“We must ensure that we mobilize domestic revenue and minimize expenditure and cut down the size of the government,” said Anim. “Let’s focus and have a coordinated policy that will ensure that we anchor the economy … if that is done, jobs will be created and also the economy will bounce back.”
In July, the World Bank projected that Ghana’s economy would grow by 1.5% this year, adding that growth would expand by 2.8% in 2024. The projections fall short of the 3.1% growth reported in 2022.