General News of Friday, 24 February 2017
Boycotting South African products will be the last resort by government in response to the threats of xenophobic attacks against Ghanaians and other Africans in South Africa, Foreign Affairs Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey has said.
Her comment comes after Minority Chief Whip Mubarak Mohammed Muntaka suggested in parliament on Friday 24 February that the rest of Africa boycott South African products to protest their displeasure with the attacks on foreign nationals.
“Can all Africans avoid any product from South Africa as a way of showing them that we depend on each other?” he quizzed.
“…Since the xenophobic attacks in 2015, I have not bought anything in South Africa apart from the food and water that I drink and I said it in the Pan Africa parliament because that was my protest as an individual to show that I’ll never go to their market to buy anything and I have stuck to that up to date. Mr Speaker, yes, we need to be diplomatic but the only way that a blind man can see that the eye of the sighted is really red is for him to give him/her a knock. …I think the time has come for African people to unite around this and at least not to also violently attack their properties in our country and not to violently attack their citizens in our country but to boycott their products.”
Reacting to the suggestion for a boycott of South African products, Ms Botchwey told Class News that would be the last resort by Ghana. She suggested the matter be left to ECOWAS and AU heads of state to resolve.
“That (boycott South African products) may be the last resort. It is important that when something like that happens and especially it’s not the first time it’s happening, it needs to be taken up to a higher level. So my suggestion will be that ECOWAS Ministers of Foreign Affairs take it up. Also, we take it up at the level of the heads of state and then extend it to the AU Heads of State,” the Anyaa Sowutuom legislator said.
“…We stood in solidarity with the people of South Africa when they were going through their difficult times of apartheid, so it is quite sad that today, through all the efforts that we all extended towards the abolition of apartheid, this should be happening to our nationals.”