Accra shops shut over Ghana interest rates, hardship

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Businesses in Ghana’s capital, Accra, have closed their shops to protest the deteriorating economic situation in the country.

The Ghana Union Traders Association (GUTA) is leading this protest and has described the industrial action as a “pinch” on the government to urgently address the depreciating cedi, high-interest rate, and inflation.

Our correspondent reports that most shops are closed, leaving customers who travel to Accra unable to stock up. The reporter added that state security is being deployed to affected areas to prevent any eventuality.

President of GUTA Dr. Joseph Obeng says the shops will stay closed until further notice, although earlier reports suggest that the decision would be reversed by Monday.

Some traders’ groups launched a similar protest in Kumasi, the country’s second most populous city. It took the intervention of the Regional Minister to get the aggrieved traders back to business.

Ghana is struggling to keep its economy on track following the devastating effect of COVID and the Ukraine invasion. Authorities have started negotiations with the International Monetary Fund for a bailout.

The Bank of Ghana raised its benchmark monetary policy rate by a further 250 bps to 24.5% during its October 2022 meeting, above market forecasts of 23%, bringing borrowing costs to the highest since 2017.


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