Ghana has achieved rapid economic growth in recent years, but the economy currently, seems to be struggling with double-digit inflation, a weak currency, rising public debt and a high cost of living.
Ghana’s economic growth was subject to major fluctuations. The economic challenges facing the country include high inflation, a high level of state debt and heavy fluctuations in foreign direct investment.
Ghana is grappling with runaway inflation as prices of basic commodities have spiralled. Government finances are also at their weakest in years whereas its local currency, the cedi, is now the world’s worst performer against the US dollar – a signal of the depth of the country’s economic crisis.
The cost of living for Ghanaians is at recording its highest in recent times as prices of goods and services continue to rise on a daily basis. This has generated economic hardship, a difficulty caused by having too little money or too few resources.
The most common examples of hardship a person may suffer include illness or injury, change of employment status, loss of income, natural disasters, divorce, death and military deployment.
However, all the aforementioned hardships may not be the case in Ghana as there are no official records to establish that but, the situation may lead to most of them as people’s cash inflows drop drastically while businesses struggle for survival.
The last time Ghana experienced similar hardships was thirty-nine (39) years ago, in 1983 when there was a drought caused by a natural disaster. Coincidentally, the calendar for 1983 is the same as 2022. So, is Ghana going back 39 years? Certainly not, for the battle is the Lord’s.
The government and many economists in the country have attributed Ghana’s woes to the Russia – Ukrain war which is impacting heavily on some imported raw materials and finished products.
Meanwhile, some have attributed it to the over-reliance on foreign goods making the dollar appreciate against the cedi while some also attribute it to internal factors like profiteering from the situation by traders and uncontrolled appetite for foreign products.
Residents sharing how they fend for themselves in recent times with the IGOGHANA have expressed grave concern about the recent unbridled increase in commodities on the market.
According to them, they feel like “pulling a hair from their nose” when they go shopping for foodstuffs and pay for utilities and house rent amongst others.
Mr Enock Akumey, a nurse, lamented that his rent has been increased from GH¢ 150.00 to GH¢ 200 in the past months by his landlady.
”My landlady has increased her rent prices, and now I pay GH¢ 200 instead as house rent. There are also high rates of water and light charges. For food, I spend over GH¢ 200 monthly though I am single, but, that also is not enough”, he bemoaned.
Master Razak, a mechanic at the Kokompe Association of Garages was dumbfounded to share his sentiment on the economy claiming that people no longer brought their vehicles to him for repairs.
He said, as a result, he had to survive on his little earnings with his family.
Master Razak also complained about high utility tariffs and the high cost of fuel, spare parts and foodstuffs as a result of the economic mishap.
“Water and light charges are high. The worst part of the issue is that I don’t get water frequently but still I pay for it. I am able to afford one meal a day, sometimes. At other times, if I am lucky, I get to eat twice”, he added.
Mr Kobina Jones, a university student in adding his voice said the economic hardship was having a toll on him.
According to him, he spends beyond his estimated budget and even with that, he had to ask his parents for a top-up because the money was insufficient.
He exclaimed nodding his head, “Life on campus is difficult for me.”
Touching on transportation, most of the car owners (private) indicated that high transport fares and rising fuel prices have forced them to park their vehicles and find alternative means to go to work.
“I can’t use my car again, because of how high the fuel cost is. Now, the transport charge from Effia to Takoradi is GH¢ 2.80ps and it’s very expensive looking at how meagre my salary is”, one of them said.