Ghana’s fragile economy which has always been on life support, has somehow managed to survive the inconsiderate onslaught of the corona virus pandemic. The same onslaught that brought the world’s most resilient economies like the United States of America, Italy and the United Kingdom a few inches away from a total standstill. As the world slowly frees itself from the grip of this unfriendly guest however, the leaders and people of the West African country are beginning to realize the true impact of the pandemic on the most delicate parts of the country’s economy. Even though the ports, the mines and some other parts of the country’s revenue mobilization centers which have always been projected as the most important sectors of Ghana’s economy have managed to survive the onslaught, other sectors which happen to be the real heroes of government’s revenue mobilization scheme are yet to recover. Shops, farms, artisans, services and factories are all dealing with the harrowing aftermath of a pandemic that is capable of the worst.
With the country’s debt in relation to GDP pegged at 74.64%, Ghana’s economy in factual terms is not very far from being returned to the dreaded Highly Indebted and Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative. This gives room for a lot of worry considering the country’s ongoing money consuming social intervention programs like the School feeding program, Free Senior High School policy, National Health insurance policy among others. Today, the Ghanaian people have to accept the rather unacceptable act of borrowing money to be used in paying debts and salaries.
In recent times however, reports of a second and deadlier wave of the corona virus hitting India are being made by the worlds most renowned news outlets. Just like the original virus emanated out of China and spread to the very undergarments of the world as the World Health Organization (WHO) and other authorities looked on; one will not be surprised if this new wave which is possibly of a different strain, slips through their fingers and spread to countries like Ghana who has less robust health systems. It is the thought of having to go through another existence threatening ordeal with a virus that keeps mutating at the speed of light that scares me into calling on Ghana’s president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo to close the country’s boarders until the new wave is properly dealt with in India.
Even though we can not deny the fact that the government of the republic of Ghana has to mobilize revenue at the ports for the running of the country, we must not be in a haste to forget the president’s own words when he said government is committed to protecting people’s “lives then their livelihoods.” If there has ever been a time that lives needed protection, it is now and the best way to do that now is by preventing a new and deadlier strain of this invasive virus from entering Ghana.
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