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Foreigners cannot engage in retail business - Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu


2019-07-20 14:15:40
Comment to:
See beyond Ghana villager.

I am constantly in a state of shock at the ignorance and myopic attitude of many Ghanaians, included their leaders. They can't see beyond their noses!

President Akufo Addo just went to lobby successfully for the citing of the hdqters of the Africa Free Trade pact in Ghana. What the hell does he and his associate understand about the implication of that? What the Free Trade entails, do they know? Can they tell us how many Ghanaian retailers have capital of $1m and employ 12 people and so expect Togolese, Burkinabes, Nigerians, etc., to have that before doing retail business in Ghana?

There is so much bemoaning of very low trade among African countries, an important reason for the poverty overpowering the people. Any kind of trade at all leads to the creation of value for the parties. Africans used to trade among themselves extensively before the colonialists came to divert trade to the coast and to themselves. We now produce so-called cash crops to sell to them while we import more and more food crops from them. And starve to death when there is not enough money to buy supplies when the rains failed and we couldn't get the little we produce ourselves. But even during the colonial times, the colonialist allowed the regional trade and movement. I had read documents detailing how coconut trees farmers from the Eastern Province of Anlo to Aflao were allowed to sell their copra in Lome, Togo, when prices were higher there.
Each year, millions from the Savanna and Sahel regions moved south to farm and engage in trade, not only in Ghana but other West African countries. The Hausas, for 100s of years, bring tied and dyed and calico clothing, onion, etc. from Nigeria and cart away kola nuts, gold, etc., from Ghana. Hausas from Niger Republic carried head loads of petty items to all nooks ans cranies of Ghana. They sold to we even kids on credit things like small foldable knives and touchlights! The Zabramas from Mali come to farm especially maize and carry the surplus to Mali. Those from Burkina Faso and Togo provided the bulk of the labour on the cocoa farms and were responsible for growing the food crops too. Some of these people worked in the mines. Of course, the indomitable Yoruba women controlled the petty trading in all kinds of things unimaginable. If you want lion ointment or snake oil or skin, they have it!

Then in stepped the reactionary Busia, taking a cue from the likes of Mobutu, and upsetted this delicate economy based on centuries of trade relations which went across the Sahara with his mean, zenophobic and ill-considered Aliens Compliance Order. The cocoa industry collapsed to lowest levels and
food shortages were only halted a while by Operation Feed Yourself after his overthrow. The retail sector plummeted into kalabule (if you're in court, it is pronounced "ka-la-buil":-)). Millions of Ghanaians soon became economic refugees all over Africa and spilling to Europe and N. America, with our 1000s of girls becoming prostitutes to survive or just to have a good life too!

Inter-African trade CANNOT be based on the mad cap idea that fellow Africans must have $1m to invest and employ 12 of the locals, as the rule of reciprocity must apply. This foolish and crazy law in Ghana MUST THEREFORE BE SCRAPPED AT ONCE. It is not part of our Constitution, as that insensitive man who wanted to foist a new Parliamentary chamber and complex on us is saying. It is in conflict with the Africa of the Future. Maintaining it and trying to implement it to favour some few pro-NPP traders in Suame and Tip Toe is very detrimental to the interest of the mass of Ghanaians.

Demographic changes occurring now is going to make Nigeria one of the biggest markets in the world, not only Africa, where it is already the biggest. All major powers are taking measures to woe the Nigerians. Ghana is well placed to take advantages of that burgeoning population and market. Please don't allow these stupid and ignorant politicians to blow it up. Growing palm trees and supplying palm oil to Nigeria alone, we found out in the past, could be paying off Ghana's import of crude oil from Nigeria. Ghana gari is being shipped to supermarkets in Nigeria from the UK by Asians! What are Ghanaians traders doing? Fighting for protection and exclusive rights? Please scrap the law and let the magana finish!


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07-20 05:01
07-20 14:15