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Ken Ofori Atta explains why Ghana couldn't go beyond 3-weeks partial lockdown

By Justice Kofi Bimpeh
Ken Ofori Atta
Ken Ofori Atta

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta has explained why Ghana could not go beyond 3-weeks of Covid-19 partial lockdown in Accra, Kasoa, Tema and Kumasi.

Speaking at an event at the Jubilee House, the Finance Minister the Ghanaian economy, which is largely informal, cannot sustain that decision beyond the three-weeks.

 

“When you look at what happened during the lockdown. It was quite clear after a point that given the 90% of our population is informal and they go out each day to earn wages, it became increasingly impossible to continue with such a policy,” he said.

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has had a significant adverse impact on the global economy.

President Akufo-Addo on March 27th announced a partial lockdown as part of measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in Ghana, but lifted it after 3-weeks.

Finance for Minister Ken Ofori-Atta also said the Ghanaian economy will take three years to recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

READ ALSO : The economy will take three years to recover - Ken Ofori Atta

The Minister in an article published in the Financial Times said “A U-shaped recovery is touted, but ours will likely be a steep drop, then a two- to three-year downward slide before a recovery; a trapezoid-shaped recovery!.”

According to him, debt aid by lenders such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) is imperative for any recovery programme.

The Finance Minister’s recovery timeframe follows a similar projection by Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, Majority Leader in Ghana’s 275-member legislature, that the impact of COVID-19 on the economy “will take about two years to address.”

Loss of domestic tax revenue and eroding of macroeconomic gains made over the past three years, following the worldwide spread of COVID-19, has left Ghana, as well as many African economies, in a precarious situation.

Many countries on the continent have depleted their reserves and turned to the Bretton Woods institutions for financial support to contain and fight the respiratory illness.