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Multi-day protests over economic crisis grip Ghana’s capital

HUNDREDS of demonstrators gathered in the Ghanaian capital Accra on Saturday for a third day of anti-government protests linked to economic hardship that have led to dozens of arrests.

Protesters, some waving placards of the Ghanaian flag, decried the high cost of living and a lack of jobs as they marched under the watch of riot police. The gold-, oil- and cocoa-producing nation has been battling its worst economic crisis in a generation brought on by spiralling public debt.

“The average Ghanaian can’t afford three square meals (per day) … the government doesn’t care,” said 24-year-old unemployed protester Romeo, who like others at the demonstration was wearing a red beret.

Police blocked the road to prevent protesters from approaching Jubilee House, the seat of the presidency, which organisers Democracy Hub have vowed to occupy.

On Thursday, police said 49 people had been detained for unlawful assembly and violating the Public Order Act on the first day of the three-day action. There was no sign of further arrests and the situation appeared calm on Saturday.

Last year, protests over soaring prices and other economic challenges led to clashes with police.

The government sealed a $3 billion, three-year loan programme with the International Monetary Fund in May, but detractors say the authorities have done too little to help those struggling to make ends meet amid the protracted downturn.

Economic growth is forecast to slow to 1.5% this year from 3.1% in 2022.

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By FRANCIS KOKOROKO

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