The Ghana Electrical Dealers Association and the Ghana Union Traders Association (GUTA) are demanding the closure of all retail shops belonging to Foreigners by Monday, November 4, 2019.
The associations claim the government has not fulfilled its promise of ridding the market of foreign traders in the retail market despite several appeals.
The group has been complaining about what they say is the collapse of their businesses due to the invasion of foreigners in the retail business.
According to the traders, the activities of the foreigners contravene the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre’s Act (Act 865).
Citing the closure of the Nigerian border to protect its country from the smuggling of goods into their country, the association said they will not tolerate the foreigners anymore.
Public relations officer of the association Samuel Addo says they are giving a deadline of up-to Monday for foreigners to close their shops or face their wrath.
“Our deadline we gave to foreigners on our markets is long overdue and as such we demand all foreigners to leave our markets and shut their shops. We are just implementing an Act or laws which our leaders have failed to do. Local businesses are dying and our businesses are collapsing. If a sister company can close its borders to protect it’s citizens, local businesses and to raise revenue for their country then, we can equally do same” he voiced.
Ghanaian retailers have over the years complained about foreigners invading the retail sector.
In 2016, some fishing gear retailers threatened to close down shops operated by Chinese nationals if the government failed to stop them from establishing retail businesses.
Members of the Ashanti Regional branch of the Ghana Traders Union Association (GUTA) in September 2017 also gave the government a 72-hour ultimatum to address issues concerning the influx of foreigners engaging in retail businesses in the country or face their wrath.
But all their threats has since not yielded any positive result as the foreigners are still trading on the markets.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry which promised to remove foreigners from the retail markets however has suspended the deadline date for the action and has since not settled on a date.
GIPC Act on Foreigners in retail market
Section 27(1) of Act 865 generally lays out activities that foreign investors are not permitted to invest or participate in. This list is not exclusive. Other laws have provisions on activities reserved for Ghanaians. These activities include the sale of goods or provision of services in a market, petty trading or hawking or selling of goods in a stall at any place. Other activities not permitted for non-citizens include:
the operation of taxi or car hire service in an enterprise that has a fleet of less than twenty-five vehicles
the operation of a beauty salon or a barbershop
the printing of recharge scratch cards for the use of subscribers of telecommunication services
the production of exercise books and other basic stationery
the retail of finished pharmaceutical products
the production, and retail of sachet water