The Unbundling of Africa by Ghana and A Continent’s Shame

The Unbundling of Africa by Ghana and A Continent’s Shame

Ghana has made a big statement: I do not want traders but big time investors in the nation. You must bring a minimum of US$1 million in cash or equity for the privilege to do business in Ghana. If you do not have it, leave the country. Yes, that is the secretariat of the AfCTFA (African Continental Free Trade Area) which should ideally project the spirit of this agreement, designed to make African nations to trade among themselves at deeper levels.

The video where Ghanaian authorities are locking up a Nigerian’s shop tells you everything  wrong about Africa. That the government of Ghana would expect a trader to have $1 million is unfortunate.  The last deal we did in Ghana required only foreign investment of $500,000, and that was coming from the United States, but here, Ghana wants Nigerian traders to pay $1 million, each, within 14 days, and then hire at last 25 skilled Ghanaians.

According to him, an inter-ministerial task force went round on August 10 to identify shops owned by Nigerian traders and requested registration of business taxes, resident permit, standard control and Ghana Investment Promotion Council (GIPC) registration.

“Most of our members do not have the GIPC registration, because it requires one million dollars cash or equity and they gave us 14 days within which to regularise.

“Nigerian life in Ghana matters. This is livelihood of Nigerians being destroyed by Ghanaian Authorities. This is not being perpetrated by a trade union, but Ghanaian authorities.

“They demanded that we must employ a minimum of 25 skilled Ghanaian workers and must not trade in commodities that Ghanaian traders have applied to trade in,” Mr Nnaji said.

“The humiliation of Nigerians is getting out of hand. We are calling on the Nigerian government to come to our aid.

”We have legally registered our businesses and we pay taxes,” Mr Nnaji said.

Yet, who can blame Ghana? The United States is doing the same in many ways. The United Kingdom is doing it. South Africa has already perfected the playbook.. Nigeria would have done so except that we cannot do it efficiently. If not, the herdsmen who continue to “emerge” from Mali, Niger Republic and Chad would have been stopped; we have tried but we cannot just get anything done.

Simply, the world is unbundling and it’s accelerating at a faster rate in Africa. Nigeria began the new era with the land border closure, and Ghana is extending it with shop closure. South Africans blew the big horn in the most unfortunate way, lynching fellow Africans. The fact is this: Africans are getting poorer as the population is now rising faster than the economic growth. As that happens, governments will fall into a knee jerk reaction, and when that happens, populism rises. Unfortunately, this unbundling becomes an easy divisive option, instead of looking for real solutions. Simply, politicians will use fellow Africans to attain equilibrium on nationalism and populism. Yes, the only reason Ghanaians are not progressing is because Nigerian traders are trading away all the best opportunities, keeping Ghana poor!

A protest in Ghana on trading issues

If you have not noticed, AfCTFA may fade even before it begins since no African leader has castigated Ghana for this draconian approach to its neighbour. But with what Nigeria did to Benin Republic, Togo, etc on border closure, you can pardon those leaders; most posit that AfCFTA could be a hopeless initiative unless there is a rebirth in our African spirits. Today, those countries are buying from Europe, instead of Lagos, and most have moved on! Yet, someone is wasting time celebrating a document of unity on trade when we cannot do basic things as citizens of this continent: aspire to rise together, paper or no paper.

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8 thoughts on “The Unbundling of Africa by Ghana and A Continent’s Shame

  1. When you underestimate human’s capacity to do evil or be mischievous, this is what you get; no surprises.

    The folks at Foreign Affairs and Embassies, what exactly do we pay them for: to have handshakes with their host officials and attend dinners? There is no need for diplomatic missions, if there is nothing diplomatic between nations.

    Whether you join a club, association or international body, it must be to serve your own interest, else it’s worthless to partake in things that don’t advance your own mission. There is ECOWAS, why is that body still in existence? And people are getting salaries, sitting and snoring in shiny edifices, enjoying free flights. Yet Nigeria and Ghana haven’t figured out how to relate with each other, and we are talking.

    Lagos is doing everything possible to make doing business in it hellish for entrepreneurs, while the Nigerian government continues to be supremely innovative on how to tax and extort citizens. So, telling Nigerians in Ghana to explore opportunities in Nigeria is not even a worthy call or advice; it’s more ridiculous back home.

    Before we accuse the West of Africa’s underdevelopment, we first need to admit that we have been atrocious across many metrics, with respect to virtues.

    Reply
    1. Accusing the West as the reason for Africas underdevelopment is the mentally lazy and easy way out – it’s easier to blame others for one’s problems.

      Reply
    2. When you refuse to listen to the voice of reason the way Nigerians do,
      When you care less on the consequences of your actions in the past or today,
      This is what you get in the future.

      Years ago, Nigerians sent Ghanians packing. You can argue that Ghana started. But, how many people today can remember the pains of the Ghanian acts of 1966. But, when Nigerian did their own in 1984-1985, they put a mark. Do you know the mark Nigerians put to ensure the pains and atrocities are not forgotten : “Ghana must go bag” .
      When I came to Nigeria, and I heard of this name , I wondered how can our people be so “….” to allow this blunder. The bags used by travellers, since then are called till date : “Ghana must go bag” arrogantly ! Without back thought.
      Ghana waited patiently, for Nigerians to enter their trap, then a Ghanaian of the spechie of the Nigerian (Ali Baba, Nigerian Minister of Internal Affairs) during Buhari , has decided to pay back. Surprisingly, they are doing it during the government of the same Buhari. Humm !
      I fear God. !
      Maybe the Nigerian Government finds it difficult to react because they are locked-up in a Ghana must go bag.
      May God help us out of instant acts.

      I want to use this opportunity to call on our Government to stop another act that can bring big embarrassment onto the nation in the very near future. I plead the Federal Government to re-open the land borders.
      In order to favour some big rice farmers, the Government has closed the land borders. But, but, humm but , when presidential elections come around again in 2023, I am forseeing other political parties offering to Nigerians the opening of the land borders in order to liberalise importation and alleviate the sufferings of the masses. But at that time the neighboring countries will not look at it with levity. They will say : We begged you Nigerians to open your borders, but you were bent on suffocating our economy. Then, they will be full of bitterness with the poor Nigerians crossing their land.
      And the gains of the current borders closure would be lost totally.

      I am proposing to the Government of Nigeria to create with the Beninois and Tolaise Governments an agricultural or industrial joint ventures to produce the items that could be of interest to each one of them . This, of course would put an end to the smuggling.

      Reply
  2. I hope the authority will go all out to assit these people. This administration just have to re consider a lot of decisions. The Mali, Niger etc borders that are given us most headach is still as poros as basket ….

    Reply
  3. So shameful for Africans.. When we say Africans are evil or blacks are evil people run from one post to another to defend it but Africa is evil blacks are evil.. They are evil I. All way you look at it.. Lazy people always look for cheap reasons to attack fellow Africans… Ghanaians are lazy set of people.. See only a lazy man complain leave ghana for ghana nothing much will happen in their business sector we have seeing Ghanaians in many country’s they are not making waves they are lazy types am not insulting them but truth is bitter.. The same thing happening in the whole of African… Lazy people that can’t compete with others l do t blame them l wish sani abach was alive they would have know the other side of the coins.. They are doing all these knowing fully well that Nigeria government is really weak to acts if not.. Who be Ghana? I don’t blame them but that can’t stop a king not to be a king we are kings over them not matter what in all area just that we have not being lucky to ha e a good government and they take advantage of that but is well nothing last forever only jesus last forever.. Ghana is your turn today tomorrow might be another’s turn ride on lazy Ghanaians nothing do you

    Reply

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