EPA Will Make Our Economy Worse – ActionAid

Alhaji Mohammed Yakubu Saani, Deputy Country Director of ActionAid, a human rights non-governmental organization (NGO), has indicated that the economic fortunes of Ghana would be worse if the country signed the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).

He observed that even though the country had not yet signed the EPA, its economy has been seriously affected by the weakening and continuous depreciating of the cedi as against the dollar, thereby creating economic hardships for the ordinary Ghanaian.

Alhaji Saani was addressing a press conference in Tamale on Wednesday to brief the media about the on-going projects that the NGO was implementing to better the lives of people through poverty reduction interventions.

He explained that ActionAid was one of the coalition members of the EPA, and knew very well that if the country signed the EPA, the local industry would be destroyed since tariffs would be removed to allow Western industries to enter African countries freely with their products, stressing that local companies could not compete favourably with the well-developed Western companies.

He suggested the need to build the capacities of local industries before attempting to sign the EPA, noting that local resources needed to be mobilized and developed as a priority.

Alhaji Saani also expressed dissatisfaction about the manner in which many multi-national companies were invading taxes, and repatriating huge profits to their mother companies abroad, and urged government to take action against such companies.

Mr Sumaila Abdul-Rahaman, Country Director of ActionAid-Ghana, warned that the country must avoid producing genetically modified crops (GMO), because it was detrimental to the economy, and would put many small-scale farmers out of business.

He urged the media to collaborate with the NGO to champion the interest of the poor and vulnerable in society, since they were core of ActionAid’s activities.

Mr Abdul-Rahaman indicated that a meeting with the Northern Regional House of Chiefs indicated that many people were at variance with the disbandment of the witches camps based on socio-cultural reasons.

He described the construction of a hostel for the Gambaga witches’ camp as an attempt by government to collaborate with AAG to find lasting solutions to the socio-cultural problem.

Madam Esther Boateng, Northern Regional Programme Manager of AAG, said the organization has been working in 36 communities in the Tamale Metropolis, and 16 in the Nanumba North and the Nanumba South districts, stressing that its operation spans across six regions.

She expressed the hope that its work would continue to help women progress in their endeavours.