Ghana opposition rallies over economic crisisTue, 03 Oct 2023 13:30:41 GMT

Several hundred opposition protesters rallied in Ghana’s capital Accra on Tuesday to denounce the country’s lingering economic crisis, blaming it on the central bank governor’s policies.Dressed in red and black and banging drums, the protesters waved placards decrying the government’s management in Ghana, which is going through its worst economic troubles in years.Ghana’s economic outlook will be a major theme as the country heads to elections next year with President Nana Akufo-Addo stepping down after his two terms allowed by the constitution.Dubbed “OccupyBoGProtest”, the opposition leadership says the Bank of Ghana governor Ernest Addison must resign for overseeing an economy where inflation has hit 40 percent.”We are going through a lot in Ghana. People cannot pay the school fees of their wards. My church members come to me daily to ask for money,” said Reverend Kingsley Asante, a pastor taking part in the rally.”We voted for better lives and not worst conditions.”Led by the opposition National Democratic Congress or NDC Minority Leader Cassiel Ato Forson, protesters chanted patriotic songs while others blew vuvuzeles, drummed and danced near ranks of heavily armed police. “I have been unemployed since I completed school in 2017. A lot of my colleagues are still home because there are no jobs,” said Genevieve Forson, a 28-year-old university graduate. “I voted for this government in 2016 hoping that things will get better but I regret that decision.”Last year, Ghana entered into a $3 billion loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund as a way to shore up its public finances.A major cocoa and gold producer, Ghana also has oil and gas reserves. But its debt load has grown and like other sub-Saharan African nations it has struggled with the fallout from the global Covid pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war.The ruling New Patriotic Party or NPP will hold primary elections next month to select its candidate for the December 2024 presidential election.Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia, a former deputy central bank governor, is widely touted by pollsters as the favourite to win that primary race to become the NPP candidate.The NDC has selected ex Ghanaian president John Dramani Mahama as its candidate for the 2024 presidential race. Mahama lost to Akufo-Addo in the 2016 and 2020 elections.