Protests over economic crisis engulf Ghana’s capital

Hundreds of protesters on Saturday congregated in Accra, the capital of Ghana, for the third consecutive day of demonstrations against the government, citing economic hardships.

During the protests, demonstrators, some carrying placards and Ghanaian flags, voiced their concerns about the soaring cost of living and the scarcity of job opportunities.

Ghana, known for its production of gold, oil, and cocoa, is grappling with its most severe economic crisis in decades, primarily driven by escalating public debt.

“The average Ghanaian can’t afford three square meals (per day) … the government doesn’t care,” said 24-year-old unemployed protester Romeo, who like others at the demonstration was wearing a red beret.

To prevent protesters from reaching Jubilee House, the presidential seat, police set up roadblocks. The organizers from Democracy Hub have pledged to occupy the area in protest.

During the initial day of the three-day protest action, police reported the detention of 49 individuals for unlawful assembly and violating the public order act. As of Saturday, there have been no additional arrests, and the situation seemed calm.

Protests last year, driven by rising prices and other economic hardships, resulted in confrontations with law enforcement.

In May, the government secured a $3 billion, three-year loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). However, critics argue that the government has not taken sufficient measures to assist those facing financial difficulties during the prolonged economic downturn.

The projected economic growth for this year is expected to decelerate to 1.5%, down from the 3.1% growth observed in 2022.

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