Ghanaians return to the streets to protest economic woes



(Recasts and updates throughout with quotes and colour)

By Christian Akorlie

ACCRA, June 29 (Reuters) - Hundreds marched in Ghana's capital Accra on Wednesday in a second day of protests over spiralling inflation and other economic woes after a first day ended in clashes with police.

Large crowds have taken to the streets to denounce price hikes, a tax on electronic payments and other levies amid a downturn exacerbated by the economic fallout from the war in Ukraine and the coronavirus crisis.

Under the watch of hundreds of police, demonstrators clad in black and red marched towards government buildings on Wednesday, Bob Marley's "Get Up Stand Up" blasting from speakers, a Reuters reporter said.

"Things are difficult and I can't pay my rent," said Patience Hehemeku, 43, who lost her job at a pharmacy during the pandemic. "You can see me dress well but I don't have my own place to sleep."

Frustration has grown in recent months as Ghanaians bear the brunt of rampant inflation amid government efforts to redress the economy, re-appreciate the local currency and avoid a debt crisis.

Police in riot gear lined the streets leading to the finance ministry, where the authorised protest was headed.

There was no immediate sign of any clashes - unlike on Tuesday, when police dispersed protesters with tear gas and water cannons after the march turned violent, leading to at least 29 arrests.

A tax on electronic payments approved in April and presented as a solution to Ghana's financial woes has been particularly ill-received, with critics saying it unfairly affects low-income people and small business owners.

Meanwhile inflation hit a new record of 27.6% in May.

"Every day is a struggle to provide for my three kids," said protestor Daniel Agbemavor, 51, who also lost his job at a restaurant during the pandemic.

"There is no money... and the price of goods keeps going up. We masses are suffering," he told Reuters.

Economic growth in one of West Africa's largest economies and the continent's second biggest gold producer slowed to 3.3% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2022.
Reporting by Christian Akorlie and Copper Inveen; Writing by Sofia Christensen; Editing by Nick Macfie and Alex Richardson

Disclaimer: The XM Group entities provide execution-only service and access to our Online Trading Facility, permitting a person to view and/or use the content available on or via the website, is not intended to change or expand on this, nor does it change or expand on this. Such access and use are always subject to: (i) Terms and Conditions; (ii) Risk Warnings; and (iii) Full Disclaimer. Such content is therefore provided as no more than general information. Particularly, please be aware that the contents of our Online Trading Facility are neither a solicitation, nor an offer to enter any transactions on the financial markets. Trading on any financial market involves a significant level of risk to your capital.

All material published on our Online Trading Facility is intended for educational/informational purposes only, and does not contain – nor should it be considered as containing – financial, investment tax or trading advice and recommendations; or a record of our trading prices; or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instruments; or unsolicited financial promotions to you.

Any third-party content, as well as content prepared by XM, such as: opinions, news, research, analyses, prices and other information or links to third-party sites contained on this website are provided on an “as-is” basis, as general market commentary, and do not constitute investment advice. To the extent that any content is construed as investment research, you must note and accept that the content was not intended to and has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such, it would be considered as marketing communication under the relevant laws and regulations. Please ensure that you have read and understood our Notification on Non-Independent Investment. Research and Risk Warning concerning the foregoing information, which can be accessed here.

We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our website. Read more or change your cookie settings.

Risk Warning: Your capital is at risk. Leveraged products may not be suitable for everyone. Please consider our Risk Disclosure.