Protests over Economic Woes enter Second Day in Ghana

Demonstrators in Ghana’s capital have gathered for a second day of protests against spiralling inflation and other economic woes after the first day ended in clashes with police and 29 arrests.

Wednesday’s protests kicked off at about noon GMT amid a heavy police presence.
Hundreds had taken to the streets on Tuesday to denounce price hikes, a tax on electronic payments and other levies amid an economic downturn.

Police dispersed the authorised march with tear gas and water cannon after demonstrators turned violent and wounded a dozen officers, according to a statement.

They arrested 29 demonstrators for “attacks and damage to public property” and were reviewing footage of the event to identify more participants.

A senior member of the local “Arise Ghana” lobby group that organised the protest, Sammy Gyamfi, told Reuters that police had agreed to provide security for demonstrations on the second day.

The police did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Ghana, one of West Africa’s largest economies and the continent’s second-biggest gold producer, saw growth slow to 3.3 percent year on year in the first quarter of 2022 and inflation hit a record of 27.6 percent in May.

Frustration has grown in recent months as Ghanaians bear the brunt of rampant inflation amid government efforts to redress the economy, reappreciate the local currency and avoid a debt crisis.

The tax on electronic payments approved in April and presented as a solution to Ghana’s financial woes was particularly ill-received, with critics saying it unfairly affects low-income people and small business owners.

Last August, citizens also took to the streets in a protest demanding accountability and good governance. The protests went viral on social media under the #fixthecountry hashtag, which is being used again for this week’s demonstrations.

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