Madam Abla Dzifa Gomashie, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Ketu South in the Volta Region, says the opening of the country’s land borders would ease the hardship of traders and many others.
“The reopening of the country’s borders will definitely alleviate the suffering women and youth, in particular, have endured for the last two years,” she said.
The lawmaker, who last year joined demonstrators to demand that government opens the borders, explained that many relied on trading activities along the borders to fend for themselves and the opening of the frontiers would “bring a lot of hope for progress to them.”
Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Madam Gomashie said the development would enable the local Assemblies at the frontiers to collect the needed Internally Generated Funds (IGF) for the development of local communities.
The former Deputy Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, also noted that the opening of the borders would enable hotels and other hospitality players to operate at full capacity, especially during the Easter season.
This would contribute to revenue generation to support national development and enhance the living condition of people in the border communities, who were affected negatively during the two-year closure.
Madam Gomashie urged the government to find a solution to the porous nature of Ghana’s entry points to preserve the territorial integrity of the country and the protection of citizens and foreigners, who patronized those crossings.
She also called for a congenial atmosphere for people in those localities to interact with and provide timely information to the security agencies to aid their work.
The MP stated the need for cross border collaboration between Ghana and its neighbours- Togo, Cote d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso- to ensure that there were no repercussions from the opening of the frontiers.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) last December urged members who had closed their land borders due to the COVID-19 pandemic to have them opened from January 1, 2022.
The ruling military government in Burkina Faso opened its land borders with Ghana, but that of Togo and Côte d’Ivoire are shut.
Madam Gomashie encouraged people to continue to observe the various safety protocols despite the lifting of restrictions, saying, “We are not completely out of the woods yet even though I admit we are in a better place than before.”
President Akufo-Addo Sunday night lifted all COVID-19 restrictions and reopened the country’s land and sea borders to enable Ghana’s economy to recover from the ravages of the pandemic.
Dr Joseph Obeng, the President of the Ghana Union of Traders’ Association (GUTA), had also requested the President to leverage his influence as the ECOWAS Chairman to get other countries in the region to open their borders for trading.
Dr Obeng said the reopening of the borders would facilitate the movement of people and goods, enhance cross border trade and curtail revenue losses, occasioned by the smuggling of goods along the border regions and support the country’s post-COVID-19 economic recovery process.