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Ghana: $10.8bn used to import toilet rolls, rice, chicken, tomato etc

The total Cost, insurance, and freight (CIF) value of 20 categorised items imported into the country annually amount to $10.8 billion ($10,895 million).

However, when import Cost, insurance, and freight (CIF) is deducted, the actual CIF of the imports reduces.

The cost, insurance and freight (CIF) price is the price of a good delivered at the frontier of the importing country before the payment of any import duties or other taxes on imports or trade and transport margins within the country.

Import CIF of $4.4bn in 2021

For 2021, the import CIF totaled $4.4 billion ($4,409.24 million).

$6.4bn actual CIF value in 2021

When deducted from the $10.8 billion ($10,895), the actual CIF value of the 20 items imported amounts to $6.4 billion ($6,485.76 million) in 2021.

Import CIF value of $3bn in 2022

Between January and September 13, 2022, the import CIF value accrued is a little over $3 billion ($3,009.57 million).

$7.8bn actual CIF value for 2022

This brings the actual CIF value of imports to $7.8 billion ($7,885.43 million)

Cost of importing each product

Per data from the Ghana Trade Advocacy Network, values for various products imported include tin tomatoes-$1 billion, rice-$800 million, Sugar and confectionery-$300 million, flour-$600 million, poultry and meat-$400 million, fish-$245 million, fresh tomatoes from Burkina Faso – $100 million and toilet rolls and tissue-$100 million.

The rest are cooking oil-$300 million, pharmaceutical and chemicals-$750 million, soaps and cosmetics, plastics-$500 million, paper-$600 million, tiles and ceramics-$200 million, iron and steel products-$600 million, cars and spare parts-$2 billion, furniture-$250 million, textiles and apparel-$250 million, home appliances-$900 and beverages-$200 million.

Painful shift to correct decades-old dependency on imports

Ghana is undergoing a painful shift that could drag on as its government looks to correct a decades-old dependency on imports.

Import substitution policies

The country is revisiting and possibly strengthening its import substitution policies to eventually increase food production, chiefly of chicken, rice, sugar and tomatoes among others.

Agriculture and food processing

Government is looking to shift some of that economic activity away from consumption toward agriculture and food processing.

Inflation, cedi

Meanwhile, inflation could keep rising, and new foreign-exchange controls might not immediately halt the slide of the cedi.

Over 50% depreciation of cedi

The cedi, Africa’s worst-performing currency, has depreciated over 50% against the dollar since January.

Same cash crops and minerals export since colonial times

But, for all its rising consumption, Ghana and many African economies export the same cash crops and minerals they have relied on since colonial times.

President Nana Akufo-Addo announced review of the standards required for imports into the country, prioritise the imports, as well as review the management of foreign exchange reserves.

Rice, poultry, vegetable oil fruit juice imports to be reviewed

This, he said will be done in relation to imports of products such as rice, poultry, vegetable oil, tooth picks, pasta, fruit juice, bottled water and ceramic tiles, and others which, with intensified government support and that of the banking sector, can be manufactured and produced in sufficient quantities in Ghana.

He pledged that government will, in May 2023 review the situation saying “We must, as a matter of urgent national security, reduce our dependence on imported goods, and enhance our self-reliance, as demanded by our overarching goal of creating a Ghana Beyond Aid”.

“Much as we believe in free trade, we must work to ensure that the majority of goods in our shops and market places are those we produce and grow here in Ghana.

“That is why we have to support our farmers and domestic industries, including those created under the 1-District-1-Factory initiative, to help reduce our dependence on imports, and allow us the opportunity to export more and more of our products, and guarantee a stable currency that will present a high level of predictability for citizens and the business community.

“Exports, not imports, must be our mantra! Accra, after all, hosts the headquarters of the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area,” he added

Increasing local production

President Akufo-Addo promised that efforts will be increased to support local production to substitute for the cut in imports and appealed to the public to consume locally produced goods.




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