Kumasi traders suspend planned protest over cedi fall

About six trader groups and importers in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region have suspended a planned protest scheduled for 5 November.

The leadership of the traders took the decision after an emergency meeting in Kumasi on Monday (31 October).

The traders, who deal in imported clothes and wares had threatened to shut down their shops due to the cedi depreciation and the cost of doing business in Ghana.

Speaking to Asaase News, the deputy secretary of the importers association in Kumasi Nana Yaw Owusu Agyemang said his members arrived at the decision having realised that the cedi’s performance has improved against the major trading currencies.

“We saw that the cedi is appreciating against the foreign currencies, so we decided that, instead of closing our shops, we have decided to suspend it and still continue our two weeks sit down strike,” he said.

“The cedi gained strength against foreign currencies, and we are praying that hopefully, it will gain more strength against foreign currencies. If the cedi depreciates, which we are not praying for that, then we have no option than to close our shops, that will be our final option.”

He, however, said an earlier directive to stop imports continues unabated.

GUTA’s action
Last week traders in the capital, Accra, closed their shops and businesses in a three-day protest against the soaring cost of living.

The usual daily gridlock was largely absent from Accra’s Central Business District and from the biggest vehicle spare parts vending area, Abossey Okai, with only street food vendors in front of the shuttered shops.

The Ghana Union of Traders’ Associations (GUTA) said the move sent a signal to the government that union members were frustrated about what they described as poor economic management. The traders said they were voicing their displeasure with the national financial climate.

The IMF has begun talks with Ghana over a deal and last month IMF officials said they expected to reach an agreement before the end of the year.


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