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Lamentations in Ghana as inflation rate hits 19.4%, highest since August 2009

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Ghanaians have been lamenting as
rising food prices and cost of living pushed Ghana’s inflation rate to an all time high at 19.4% in the month of March, 2022, the highest rate it had recorded since August 2009.

The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) which raised an alarm on Wednesday, said the cost of basic foodstuffs such as oil and fats have risen by 28.2%, water by 27.1%, cereal products, 25.0%, Vegetables, 23.8%, Fish and other Seafood, 23.7%, fruits and nuts 22.1%, soft frinks, 20.5%, while meat with a 20.2% increase, recorded high inflation rates than the national average.

According to the figures, food inflation recorded a rate of 22.4% in March 2022, compared to 17.4% in February 2022, while non-food inflation recorded a rate of 17.0% in March 2021, from 14.5% recorded in February 2022.

“The transport sector, including fuel, recorded the highest inflation rate of 27.6%, followed by housing with an inflation rate of 21.4%.

“Month-on-month inflation between February 2022 and March 2022 was 4.0% while on a month-on-month basis, food inflation exceeded non-food inflation by 0.8 percentage points,” the GSS said.

What the rising inflation means for the West African country’s economy is that interest rates will continue to surge, while cost of credit will also go up.

In attempts to control the raging price rise, the Ghanaian Central Bank last month, decided to raise interest rates, a move analysts condemned and said would threaten one of West Africa’s largest economies, ultimately leading the country into an economic crisis.

The government had also announced a reduction of salaries of political appointees by between 20% and 30%, all in a bid to check the rampaging inflation rate to no avail.

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Metro

Sign language interpreter, Kunda, seeks inclusivity in media rights agenda (video)

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An inclusive society is crucial for a nation’s human and economic development in the modern era.

In this edition of Project Aliyense, we feature Paul Kunda, widely recognized as the face of sign language interpretation on national television, serving the deaf community.

Kunda, a dedicated sign language interpreter and educator with over four years of experience, sheds light on the significance of media freedom.

“As a sign language interpreter at Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) and a teacher by profession, I advocate for media freedom,” he said.

Kunda emphasised the importance of the Access to Information (ATI) Act, recently assented to by President Hakainde Hichilema, which empowered citizens to demand information freely.

He stressed the need for unhindered access to information to foster a civil and prosperous society.

Regarding digital rights, Kunda highlighted their critical role for the deaf community, given the transformative impact of digital platforms, especially when mainstream media access is limited.

“As a representative of the deaf community, I believe digital rights should be inclusive. Everyone, including persons with disabilities, should enjoy these rights through various devices to express themselves and participate in national discourse,” he asserted.

He also called for the recognition of sign language as the eighth national language, aligning with United Nations conventions that mandate sign language interpreters at all events to promote inclusivity.

This story is sponsored content from Zambia Monitor’s Project Aliyense.

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Educationist challenges media freedom norms, cautions against misuse of freedom of expression

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Geshom Banda, Deputy Head Teacher at Hillside Primary School, presents a contrasting perspective amidst discussions on media freedom and digital rights.

Banda contested the prevalent notion suggesting limitations on expressing opinions regarding government affairs through media channels.

In an interview with Zambia Monitor in Chipata, Eastern Province, Banda emphasized Zambia’s democratic foundation, affirming that citizens possessed the liberty to voice their views on governmental matters via the media.

“Television broadcasts frequently feature discussions on political issues and government affairs, reflecting the freedom of expression prevailing in our nation,” he observed.

Furthermore, Banda highlighted the accessibility of media platforms for marginalized groups, including the disadvantaged and persons with disabilities, enabling them to articulate their voices effectively.

“Thanks to the readily available facilities, marginalized communities now have avenues to express themselves through various media channels,” he said.

Nevertheless, Banda cautioned against the misuse of freedom of expression and digital rights, particularly concerning the dissemination of inaccurate information, which could adversely affect consumers’ perceptions of cyberspace.

“The challenge lies in misinformation. Inaccurate information circulated through the media can distort the public’s understanding,” he cautioned.

Acknowledging the necessity of regulatory measures, Banda referenced the Cybersecurity Act, aimed at curbing the malicious distortion of media content, despite persistent efforts by some individuals to spread misinformation.

“Granting unrestricted freedom in media poses risks of information distortion. Hence, regulatory measures like the Cybersecurity Act are crucial in safeguarding digital rights and preventing abuse,” he emphasized.

This story is sponsored content from Zambia Monitor’s Project Aliyense.

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