Ghana reopens borders to boost flagging local economy
Published: Mar 29, 2022 04:48 PM
File photo of the Ghana National Theater against the backdrop of Gulf of Guinea (Xinhua/Lin Xiaowei)

File photo of the Ghana National Theater against the backdrop of Gulf of Guinea (Xinhua/Lin Xiaowei)

Ghana reopened its land and sea borders on Monday after a two-year closure as it lifted some coronavirus restrictions in an attempt to bolster a flagging economy.

President Nana Akufo-Addo also announced in a televised address on Sunday night that the wearing of masks in the West African country is no longer mandatory as active COVID-19 cases drop below 100.

Afuko-Addo said outdoor functions can resume at full capacity as long as all persons are fully vaccinated. 

From Monday, fully vaccinated travelers will no longer have to take COVID-19 tests to enter the country.

"It has been a difficult two years for all of us, and we are seeing light at the end of a very long tunnel," the Ghanaian leader said.

"I appeal to all of us to live responsibly, protect ourselves at all times."

Ghanaians living in border communities who usually trade with neighbors in Cote d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso and Togo applauded the decision, saying it will bring life back to their areas.

"I have lost my business. Before the closure of the border I used to trade with some Ivorians," Joseph Mintah, a father of four from Elubo, a border town in western Ghana, told AFP.

"Now I have no option than come to Accra to look for job. I'll be returning after this."

Beatrice Konadu said her business selling cosmetics and customized slippers over the border in Togo and Burkina Faso had also collapsed.

"It has been tough for me," she told AFP by telephone from Aflao on the border with Togo.

"The president's announcement comes as a great news, but it has been long overdue," she said.