Growing Up From An Economic Recession

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Growing up in Ghana in the mid-nineties was a very challenging moment of my life. The West African country was recovering from an economic recession mainly attributed to series coup d’états that destabilized the economy and crippled most state institutions. These coup d’états, to an extent, left the country that once championed the emancipation of Africa in a deplorable state. The country experienced a protracted period of serious economic decline characterized by lax financial management, inflation rates well over 40%, extensive government involvement in the economy and an extremely high budget deficit.

These weak macroeconomic fundamentals influenced the then government’s decision to implement a series of strenuous public policies; with the goal to place Ghana back on sound economic and social footing. I recall waking up one early morning to prepare for school. But I realized the “airwaves” were poised with anger. Most people in my neighborhood were glued to their radio sets, waiting impatiently on the government to confirm the rumors, circulating in the country about its decision to scrap the old tax policy and replace it with a new one; the Value Added Tax. Around midday, the government finally let the cat out of the bag and outlined in detail the various segments of the new tax policy. This policy mandates the government to impose taxes on consumer goods and services at all stages of production and distribution. Businesses can pass along a sizable percentage of the
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