Owusu-Bempah Blames Russia-Ukraine War For Increasing Kenkey Price

Owusu-Bempah Blames Russia-Ukraine War For Increasing Kenkey Price

  • The government under Nana Akufo-Addo is not to blame for the rising prices of food like kenkey on the market, says Ernest Owusu-Bempah
  • He said food inflation is the result of the coronavirus pandemic and the recent Russia-Ukraine war that started in February 2022
  • The governing NPP activist wants Ghanaians to stop blaming the president for the current economic setbacks and focus their attention on the bigger global picture

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Outspoken political activist Ernest Owusu-Bempah has said rising food prices, especially the ‘Ga kenkey’, have not been caused due to poor management by the government but the Russia-Ukraine war.

Owusu-Bempah and Kenkey
Ernest Owusu-Bempah says rising kenkey prices not Akufo-Addo's fault. Source: Facebook/@ernestkofi.owusubempahbonsu
Source: UGC

The convener of #FixtingTheCountry Ghana, a pro-NPP government pressure group said the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine by Russia has disrupted global supply of fertiliser, which has in turn affected the yield of most cereals.

The price of kenkey, a corn-based food, has increased by between 50 to 100% in the last six years – long before the Russian forces pushed through Ukrianian border on February 25, 2022. Although President Akufo-Addo had promised to ensure kenkey prices reduce from GH¢1 during the 2016 electioneering campaign, the price of the popular food jumped from the standard GH¢1 to GH¢1.5 and GH¢2 by 2021 in many parts of Accra.

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However, speaking on a current affairs programme on Okay FM, Owusu-Bempah said the government cannot be blamed for the rising food inflation.

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"We need fertiliser to grow corn and we don’t manufacture the fertiliser in Ghana, we import it. So, if you wake up one day and everything has come to a halt with borders closed, the first cardinal principle to know is that global circumstances have changed.
“Majority of our economy relies on the importation of goods and services...Therefore, you have to know that things will change. Secondly, we know that globally crude oil which we import is from Russia and Ukraine. Because of the war going on in Ukraine, if anyone says we can’t argue that the break in supply and the resulting increase in oil prices has no effect, I don’t agree," he said.

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The discussion on the programme was about the promise by Nana Akufo-Addo to reduce kenkey prices.

But Owusu-Bempah stressed that Russia supplies for a huge part of the world’s petroleum products, hence sanctions placed on it for invading Ukraine, would ultimately affect Ghana and other countries that import refined oil. In Ghana, increasing fuel prices greatly affects food inflation.

“If the prices have increased, obviously, that should tell you something. How much oil do we produce in Ghana? We have to import, and when we do that, there are heavy taxes imposed on it which will go on to affect everything. So, if kenkey used to be GH¢1 and it is now GH¢5, why should you be worried?” he quizzed.

He continued that Ghana's economy was already facing challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Did Akufo-Addo bring the war? Did Akufo-Addo bring the Corona? Don’t you know that Ukraine is the food basket of the world? Go and do your research. Even when the Iraq and Iran war started in the early 90s, the minute even the global economists hear there is a war, you know it automatically affects everything in the world. You don’t need a rocket scientist to tell you this.”

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Falling Cedi, Russia-Ukraine War Pushes Fuel Prices Up, Ghanaians Soon Buy Diesel Above GH¢10 Per Litre

In a previous report, YEN.com.gh reported that petrol and diesel prices at the pumps have been rising since March 2022, a situation triggered in no small measure by the falling cedi.

Also, calculated sanctions on Russia by the US and its allies over its widely condemned incursion on Ukraine have also been fingered as a key factor in the hike in fuel price in Ghana.

The fall of the cedi against the US dollar, according to energy think tank, Chamber of Petroleum Consumers Ghana (COPEC-GH) has triggered a sharp rise in fuel prices for the next pricing window.

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Source: YEN.com.gh

George Nyavor avatar

George Nyavor (Head of Politics and Current Affairs Desk) George Nyavor writes for YEN.com.gh. He has been Head of the Politics and Current Affairs Desk since 2022. George has over 9 years of experience in managing media and communications (Myjoyonline and GhanaWeb). George is a member of the Catholic Association of Media Practitioners Ghana (CAMP-G). He obtained a BA in Communications Studies from the Ghana Institute of Journalism in 2010. Reach out to him via george.nyavor@yen.com.gh.