Ghanaians protest amid economic crisis

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ACCRA– Protesters in Ghana. 

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in the Ghanaian capital, Accra, to protests against the government. The protesters voiced their grievances about the exorbitant cost of living and the scarcity of employment opportunities.

Protesters in Accra held placards with messages such as “Ghana deserves better”, “We’re tired of being voting machines,” or “People equal power” during the three-day #Occupy Julorbi House campaign, which concluded on Saturday, September 23. Despite facing adverse weather conditions, including heavy rain and sun, the demonstrators gathered to demand political reforms and economic change.

The “Occupy Julorbi House” protest, which spanned three days and was orchestrated by the advocacy group “Democracy Hub,” had a dual objective. Firstly, to compel the President of Ghana and the Economic Management Team to confront issues related to economic mismanagement and corruption within the government. Secondly, to provide a forum for citizens to express their dissent against various government policies and initiatives, including the proposed military intervention in Niger. The roots of this protest trace back to the “Fix the Country” movement that emerged in 2021.

Youth activists were addressing the crowds, stressing their basic needs as Ghanaians: food, water, and clothing.  Although the protesters aimed to reach the seat of government, the Golden Jubilee House, they were obstructed by the police. The police had initially responded forcefully on September 21, arresting over 50 protesters, including journalists.

The demonstrators expressed a desire for peaceful change but warned Ghana’s President Nana Akuffo-Addo and the police that resisting peaceful change may lead to violent change, even if they don’t wish to resort to violence.

Even in the absence of an official statement from Ghana’s government regarding the Occupy Jubilee House protests, the convener from Democracy Hub remained determined, promising a path toward prosperity and liberty. The organizers mentioned that they won’t relent because the forces working against the republic are still active and influential, holding sway over government institutions, the judiciary, the police force, and the military. However, they cannot control the will of the people.

Democracy Hub also pointed up that their determination would continue the battle to reclaim Ghana’s moral integrity from the course of decay, attributed to the country’s leaders.

Ghana, known for its gold, oil, and cocoa production, is currently grappling with its most severe economic crisis in decades, primarily driven by a mounting public debt. According to data from the International Monetary Fund, Ghana has retained in 2023 its position as the African country with the highest debt owed to the IMF.

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