Ghanaians have been advised to be measured in their expectation of the economic impact of the reopening of the country’s air borders.
This advice was given by economist and lecturer at the University of Ghana, Dr. Adu Owusu Sarkodie.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has announced the reopening of the Kotoka International Airport for international travel effective Tuesday, September 1, 2020.
“I am glad to announce that Kotoka International Airport will reopen and resume operations from Tuesday, 1st September 2020. This decision has been communicated to international airlines across the world,” the President said.
Speaking to Citi Business News, Dr. Sarkodie said although reopening the air borders is a step in the right direction, Ghana’s economic recovery would be on a gradual scale.
“Tourists will come and lodge in our hotels. Remember that our hotel occupancy ratio had gone down by 90%. When the borders are opened, they will come and lodge in hotels. Hotels, restaurants and tourist sites will get their fees. I think that It will gradually revive our economy. To how much we should expect, I think we should manage our expectations because COVID-19 hasn’t left us; it is with us, it will be with us for a year or half a year more.”
“The global economy, the African economy and for that matter the Ghanaian economy will pick up gradually. We shouldn’t anticipate a full recovery. We should anticipate some gradual economic recovery because we are fighting two crises; economic crisis and health crisis. So, we need to manage our expectations. This is not peculiar to Ghana, everywhere in the world, they are all recovering gradually,” he added.
Ghana’s borders were closed in March 2020 when the first case of the coronavirus was reported in the country.
The closure of the country’s borders has had dire consequences on the economy, especially the tourism sector which has a significant chunk of its clientele being foreign nationals.
Organisations like the Chamber for Tourism Industry Ghana had said the reopening of the country’s international airspace would give its members some respite.