by Ellen DapaahAugust 19, 2020
The Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana has welcomed the hint by the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo that the country’s air borders may be opened in September 2020.
Ghana’s air and land borders have been closed since March following the occurrence of the novel coronavirus.
The closure has adversely affected most businesses, including the importation of cargo into the country.
The President, however, in his last address to the nation on August 16 disclosed that the government was considering reopening the country’s air borders on September 1
Reacting to this, the Executive Secretary of the Importers and Exporters Association, Sampson Asaaki Awingobit, lauded the President’s announcement, saying that business will come back to normal should the airport be open for international flights.
“What I realised is that because of COVID-19, with rice importation, for instance, Vietnam and others had placed a partial ban to their produce because they didn’t know what would happen so they put security in their country. They said they were not going to allow imports so that caused the price of some importers’ items to go up high.”
“So generally, I would say that though our borders were open for goods, it is people who have to go and bring the goods. So if that person does not travel in and out, definitely it will have an impact on that. So we are happy that at the end of the day, the government is preparing to open up our borders for travellers and we are hoping that all the protocols will be put to best practice so that we would not increase the [COVID-19] numbers,” he stated.
Persons involved in importing and exporting cargo have been greatly affected by the closure of the country’s borders due to COVID-19 since March.
Although the border closure did not affect persons involved in the cargo business, their inability to travel out of the country to purchase their goods have affected them badly.
They have over time complained of a reduction in revenue since the transfer of goods has become difficult due to other restrictions imposed in other countries as well.
Some of the importers say they may even close down their shops because they are running out of stock and cannot afford purchasing new goods.