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Ghana’s #FixTheCountry protesters take to Accra’s streets highlighting economic problems and government mismanagement

by Aug 4, 2021News0 comments

Ghanas FixTheCountry protesters take to Accras streets highlighting economic problems and government mismanagement

Several thousand protesters marched in Ghana’s capital Accra on Wednesday under the slogan “#FixTheCountry”, the latest rally against President Nana Akufo-Addo’s government.

Dressed in red and black and chanting patriotic songs, protesters waved placards declaring “corruption breeds poverty” and “fix our education system now” as they marched in the city centre.

Several thousand protesters marched in Accra in the latest rally against President Akufo-Addo's government. [Nipah Dennis/AFP]

Wednesday’s rally marks the most recent anti-government protest since March when a top court dismissed the main opposition party’s challenge to Akufo-Addo’s re-election late last year.

Akufo-Addo won a second term with only a small majority in parliament. But the Ghanaian leader has since been under pressure as the West African country struggles with economic troubles worsened by the coronavirus pandemic.

Last month, the main opposition party National Democratic Congress (NDC) rallied several thousand people in the capital. [Nipah Dennis/AFP]

“Nana Akufo-Addo, we’re suffering. Do something for us. Nothing is working,” said 28-year-old protester Frederick Koomson. “The government must wake up.”

Ghana is often applauded as one of the stable democracies in a region troubled by political strife and religious violence.

Groups of women also took part in the #FixTheCountry protest. [Nipah Dennis/AFP]

But last year’s tightly contested vote heightened political tensions.

With the economy hit hard by the pandemic, the government has introduced new taxes and high fuel prices have also hiked the cost of some basic goods and services.

The NDC has called both of last year's presidential and parliamentary elections flawed and an 'attack' on Ghana's democracy. [Nipah Dennis/AFP]

Lead by social media activists, the #FixTheCountry protest on Twitter has been highlighting economic problems and government management.

“If the political authorities will not fix this country, we want to tell them that we are capable of destroying their career because we brought them to power,” said Fatima Mensah, a 35-year-old activist.

In May, police blocked a planned protest citing coronavirus restrictions. For Wednesday's march, the police chief had guaranteed its safety, organisers said after meeting him. [Nipah Dennis/AFP]

Some criticised Afuko-Addo’s project to build a new $200m (169 million euros) national cathedral, a pledge he says he made after his 2016 election victory.

Ghanaians have been asked to make a voluntary $16 monthly donation to help finish it by 2024.

In March, the Supreme Court dismissed a challenge by the electoral runner-up, NDC's John Mahama, who had asked for a rerun of the December 7 vote. [Nipah Dennis/AFP]

“Why do we waste time on unnecessary ventures and leave the most important issues?” asked Aboagye Dacosta, a shoe shiner. Here

Protesters perform on the street during the #fixTheCountry protest in Accra. [Nipah Dennis/AFP]
Many of Wednesday's protesters were wearing facemasks. [Nipah Dennis/AFP]

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