With the obvious return of poverty and hunger to Ghana, thousands of workers across the country have taken to the streets to protest. They are protesting over what they called rise in cost of living.
The nationwide strike was organized by the country’s largest trade union congress which accused the government of mismanaging the economy as inflation is running at close to 15%.
In Accra, the protesters, mainly clad in red, chanted, sang, danced and blew vuvuzelas amidst brass band music, for about four hours creating traffic jams in the city centre.
One of the many hand-written placards they held read: “Somalia’s shilling is doing better than Ghana’s cedi.”
Leaders of the demonstration presented a four-page petition to Haruna Iddrisu, the minister of employment and labour relations.
The minister, surrounded by dozens of armed officers, tried to address the crowd which kept shouting and hooting through his address.
He eventually found a megaphone to tell them that the government would work “fastidiously to invigorate the economy to make life easier not harder for the working people and citizens of Ghana”.
“You have made eloquent pronouncement of concerns through this act of demonstration… the placards you carry reflect a mirror some of your concerns,” he said.
But Iddrisu said all Ghanaians would have to make “some sacrifices for the economy to recover.”
The protesters called for President John Dramani Mahama to restore the 23% subsidy that has been removed from petroleum products.
The national currency, the cedi, has depreciated against the US dollar by more than 27% this year.
Taxes and utilities have also gone up by more than 50%. [myad]