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General News of Saturday, 27 January 1996

Source: --

Trade Minister Resigns

Ghana's minister of trade and industry, Mrs Emma Mitchell, has announced her resignation from the government, GRi reports from Accra. No reason was given for the resignation, which takes effect at the end of February. Mitchell is the second high-ranking Cabinet minister to leave President Jerry Rawlings' government in five months.

In August, Finance Minister Kwesi Botchwey resigned following months of demonstrations and strikes to protest about Ghana's economic situation. The protests culminated in the shooting to death of at least five people during a demonstration in May in Accra.

Rawlings' government has tried to please international lending institutions by imposing strict spending limits and tax increases. That has prompted state workers including nurses, teachers and university professors to strike for higher wages, which Rawlings' government says it cannot afford to pay.

Rawlings took power in a 1981 military coup, and his party won nearly 60 percent of the vote in multiparty elections in 1992. Rawlings faces another election in November.