Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Exim Bank, Lawrence Agyinsam, says the coronavirus outbreak which originated from China and has affected trade activities in Ghana which relies heavily on Chinese imports; should be a wake-up call for the country to produce and manufacture enough goods to serve its citizens.
Currently, Ghanaian businesses that rely on Chinese imports are in a fix as trade activities have slowed down in China.
Business associations such as the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), has cautioned against possible increase in the prices of goods locally if no immediate solution is found to curtail the spread of the Coronavirus.
Ghana imports all kinds of goods and food items from China. As at 2018, trade between Ghana and China stood at US$7.3 billion, making Ghana the 7th largest trading partner of China in Africa that year. However, the respiratory and fast-spreading disease has put most trade activities in China on hold.
Speaking on these developments, the CEO of the Ghana Exim Bank, Lawrence Agyinsam, said it is time Ghana offers the right support to local businesses particularly those in industry to produce sufficiently for the population.
“Time has come for us to deepen that patriotism that we should rather focus and support our kings of industries to go into productive sectors so that our dependency on China will dwindle” he advised.
“So far, about 100 countries have recorded the disease with the death toll inching close to 4,000, although more than half of those affected have recovered.
This has disrupted business activities and trade in many countries, with China and countries that depend on it being the most affected.
Ghana confirms two cases of Covid-19
Two cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Ghana, according to Health Minister Kwasi Agyemang-Manu. This was made known at an emergency press briefing by the Information Ministry on Thursday night, March 12, 2020.
The two cases tested positive after laboratory tests from the Noguchi Memorial Institute of Medical Research.
According to the Health Minister, they were reported as ‘imported cases’ as both individuals returned to Ghana from Norway and Turkey.
Meanwhile, Citi News sources have confirmed that Ghana’s first two imported cases of the coronavrius Covid-19, are indeed foreign nationals. According to our sources, one is a senior official at the Norwegian Embassy in Ghana, whereas the other is a Turkish citizen.
$100m allocated for coronavirus fight – Nana Addo
In an address to the nation on Wednesday, 11th March 2020, the President Akufo-Addo said he has directed the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, to make available the cedi equivalent of US$100 million to enhance Ghana’s Coronavirus preparedness and response plan.
This amount, according to President Akufo-Addo, “is to fund the expansion of infrastructure, purchase of materials and equipment, and public education”.
He further explained that with the declaration by the World Health Organisation (WHO) of the Coronavirus disease as a pandemic, it is important that Ghana steps up her preparedness to ensure that beyond the initial measures that have been put in place, a ‘whole of Ghana’ approach is adopted in preparation for a possible hit within the country’s borders.
Statistics so far
Nearly 4,000 people have died globally, with China the source of the virus, and Italy being the most affected. Over 100,000 cases have been recorded in over 120 countries.
In Africa, there have been very few cases, with Egypt leading with 67 cases, followed by Algeria with 24. South Africa has 13 cases, Morocco six, Tunisia 7, Senegal 4, Burkina Faso 2, Nigeria 2, Togo 1, DR Congo 1, Cameroon 2, and Cote D’Ivoire 1.
Ghana is the latest in Africa to record a case. Meanwhile there have been only three deaths so far in Africa, with one each recorded in Egypt, Morocco and Algeria respectively.