Speaking at the 60th anniversary of the University of Cape Coast (UCC) on Thursday, he explained that the high demand for foreign goods especially foodstuff has largely contributed to the economic challenges the country currently faces.
“I personally believe that unless and until we take concrete measures and actions to ensure an integrated economy, which would make us less dependent on foreign goods, I am afraid our economic challenges would be further exacerbated,” he explained.
Mr Jonah stressed that most food items consumed in Ghana are imported, hence the need to tackle that first.
“I think it is unconscionable that most of the tilapia we consume comes from China.
Mr Jonah said that “now, I am sure you all learnt that the Chinese having taken over and destroyed our land are now producing cocoa and exporting cassava and gari and yams.
The cost of food is a major part of any nation’s economy and it behooves on all of us to do whatever we can to improve accessibility and affordability.”
This comes after the cedi was cited by a Bloomberg report as the worst-performing against the dollar worldwide.
On Saturday, on Newsfile, a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Economics, University of Ghana, Legon, Dr Twumasi Baffour urged importers and members of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) whose capital has been greatly affected because of the depreciation to source local alternatives for their products.
“I know that about some months ago GUTA was in talks with the Ministry of Trade looking at options available in terms of import substitution.
I share in their sentiment because if you are trading and you consistently losing the value of your capital it is not a comfortable place to be,” she said.
“But the question also is that all the things that a lot of their members are importing, is there the option to source local alternatives? Is there the option for the government to sit down with these groups and see the possibility of them moving into areas where they could be producing locally and supporting local manufacturing firms?” Dr Twumasi Baffour quizzed.