GHANA’S annual inflation rate slowed to a 13-month low of 8.5 percent in April on reduced food prices, the Ghana Statistical Service said on Wednesday.
In comparative terms, the inflation rate for April fell by1.8 percentage points from the 10.3 percent annual inflation rate a month earlier.
The Government Statistician, Samuel Kobina Annin, attributed the lower rate of inflation to lower food prices during the month under review.
‘The reduction in food inflation was due to the base-drift effect, resulting from the abnormal food price increases in April 2021 at the onset of the Covd-19 pandemic,’ Annim explained.
‘Food inflation, therefore, fell by 4.3 percentage points to 6.5 percent year on year compared to the March food inflation of 10.8 percent,’ he added.
The non-food inflation rate, however, increased to 10.2 percent in April, from 10 percent in March.
The lower inflation rate recorded notwithstanding, Many Ghanaians do not seem impressed by the quality of governance being delivered by the Akufo-Addo –led government with a myriad of difficulties confronting citizens.
Agitations are rife in the country over issues that citizens believe need fixed urgent solutions as a youth group has emerged to give voice and face to these demands by Ghanaians.
Their social media hashtag #FixTheCountry, which first appeared on Twitter on May 2 to demand solutions from government to the perceived hardships, has been gaining much traction among citizens.
Promoters of the hashtag, listed the rising youth unemployment, dilapidated health systems, ballooning rent charges, ballooning national debt, and poor road networks as some of the challenges facing the West African country.
They also named abandoned projects, challenges in the educational sector, the rising cost of health service, increasing cost of living, and an ensuing energy crisis among the issues needing government intervention.
Social media users, mostly youth have been whipping up support for the movement, which is fast becoming a leading voice in the demand for responsible leadership in the country.
‘#FixTheCountry! Period! No long things! We voted for you to fix it,’ posted a Facebook user Richard Kwadwo Nyarko, Tuesday.
Amid the simmering agitations, the government announced a hike in the price of petrol to the equivalent of $1.05 per litre from $0.80 dollars per litre.
The calls have persisted with the #FixTheCountry hashtag gaining more grounds daily, sending the government on a public relations exercise led by the Minister for Finance Ken Ofori-Atta (pictured) to assure Ghanaians that the issues were being fixed or would be fixed.
He conceded that, ‘In extraordinary times people should expect exceptional leadership from their leaders, and government truly believes we cannot ensure exceptional leadership without the collective efforts from all of us.’
‘So I commend the youth for calling on government and leaders to be at their best. This shows the patriotism of Ghanaian youth, echoing the president’s call to be citizens and not spectators,’ the finance minister said.
Ofori-Atta also listed a number of initiatives being introduced by government to give hope to the citizens, including a $200 million World Bank-supported Jobs and Skills programme aimed at providing employable skills for the youth and supporting the private sector to create jobs that can absorb the youths of Ghana.
‘Let us fix this together,’ the soft-spoken finance minister urged.
A planned protest by the agitators for Sunday, May 2 was however, injuncted by the police through a court action as heavy policing equipment and personnel were deployed around the Independence Square on the D-Day to enforce the court’s ruling against the planned protest.