Ghana: Government Orders Non-Ghanaian Retailers To Leave Sector Or Face Sanctions
The government of Ghana has ordered non-Ghanaian retailers to leave the various retail sectors by July 27, 2018 or face the wrath of the government.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry, which gave the order in a statement threatened to take legal action against recalcitrant non-Ghanaians who fail to adhere to the directive.
“Notice is hereby given to all non-Ghanaians who are engaged in retail trading activities contrary to the provision of the Act [GIPC Law 2013], to desist from doing so. All persons engaged in such practices are therefore advised to stop it to avoid legal actions being taken against them,” the Ministry’s statement directed.
“Offenders are entreated to move out of the markets by Friday, July 27, 2018,” the statement added.
The Ministry in the statement explained that per the country’s laws, the retail sector is a preserve of Ghanaians.
It cited section 27 (1) of the GIPC Law 2013, (Act 865) which states that, “A person who is not a citizen or an enterprise which is not wholly owned by a citizen shall not invest or participate in the sale of goods or provision of services in a market, petty trading or hawking or selling of goods, in a stall at any place,” the Trade Ministry warned non-Ghanaians selling goods or dispensing services in the retail sector to “be advised accordingly.”
Sack Chinese From Retail Trade
Ghanaian retailers have over the years complained about foreigners including the Chinese invading the retail sector.
In 2016, some fishing gear retailers threatened to close down shops operated by Chinese nationals if the government fails to stop them from establishing retail businesses.
The aggrieved traders complained that the Chinese, who are mainly their suppliers had established shops in the country and are engaging in retailing of the fishing gears and other equipment.
One of the traders, who doubled as the Organizer of the Association of Importers and Distributors of Fishing Gear, [at the time], Bright Asare, in an interview lamented that all efforts to have government to stop the activities of the Chinese in the sector had proved futile.
“I will not organize a demonstration in this hot sun. I will buy a padlock, we will lock all their [Chinese] shops, and when we lock their shops, they will report to the Police” adding that when such happens, the appropriate authorities will know how serious they are.
“The President has to do something about it. We are not breaking the law,” Bright Asare insisted.
Stop Foreigners in the Retail Business – GUTA
Members of the Ashanti Regional branch of the Ghana Traders Union Association (GUTA) in September 2017, gave the government a 72-hour ultimatum to address issues concerning the influx of foreigners engaging in retail businesses in the country or face their wrath.
According to the leadership of the Association, consistent calls to authorities to address their concerns have been unsuccessful so far hence their threat.
Speaking to reporters, the Ashanti Regional Secretary of GUTA, Ali Mohammed Ahmed called on the government to act fast to save their businesses from unfair competition.
“They [foreigners] are collecting all retail businesses in Ghana. Some Chinese are roasting plantain; others are selling sachet water. What of those our youth, brothers, children who leave school and there is no work? At the moment there is a freeze on employment, how do we survive? Crime is the only answer, and we don’t want it to be so.”
Report by Gideon Sarpong | WakeUp Africa