Ghana Still Imports Toothpicks, Handkerchiefs . . . How Will Our Cedi Be Stable? - Kwesi Pratt

Seasoned Journalist, Kwesi Pratt Jnr., has shared concerns with the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) about fears over imminent collapse of local businesses due to the cedi depreciation and other related market forces.

GUTA has threatened to embark on demonstration against the government over the free fall of the local currency against foreign currencies, chiefly the US Dollar.

The President of GUTA, Dr. Joseph Obeng, in an interview published by the Insight newspaper stated. "the exarcerbating tension that is coming from the trading Committee is huge . . . They believe that if nothing is done about their businesses, their businesses are going to collapse in perpetuity so they are calling for a serious deomnstration".

He feared local businesses will crash to the ground should the cedi keep depreciating.

"Businesses have reached a situation where their survival is seriously threatened", so they are "calling on the government, as a matter of urgency, to reconvene the Foreign Exchange Committee that was set up a few years ago by the Finance Ministry which involved all relevant stakeholders, to help find an immediate solution", he further said in a press release.

Reacting to the GUTA grievances, Mr. Pratt also asked what the government is doing to salvage the local businesses and to whip up interest in local products.

He wondered why Ghana still imports commodities that can be manufactured in the nation by local producers and manufacturers.

"What technology do we use to manufacture handkerchief that Ghana has to import handkerchief? When you take chewing stick and take day nursery kids to pick up a kitchen knife and carve out toothpicks, can't they do it? But we also import toothpick," he exclaimed.

Adding that Ghana also imports "guinea fowls from Denmark", he asked "how will your currency be stable?"

Mr. Pratt called for strict measures to improve the local market and discourage imports.