A Health Economist at the University of Ghana, Legon, Dr. Gordon Abekah-Nkrumah says the coronavirus outbreak in China will adversely affect some sectors of Ghana’s economy.
The disease, which started in the Chinese town of Wuhan has spread to at least 70 countries leading to over 3,000 deaths.
Over 90,000 cases have so far been recorded worldwide.
African countries like Egypt, Algeria, Nigeria and Senegal have also recorded cases of coronavirus.
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, Dr. Abekah-Nkrumah explained that since Ghana does not have the capacity to produce some items it imports, the country stands at a high risk of having a negative net effect.
“If you look at our relationship with China, our net effect will be negative because someone would argue that given that we import, and if import goes down, that will be good for us. But the point is that most of the items we import from China are items that we currently don’t have the capacity in-house to be able to respond if there is a shortfall. So that is definitely going to be negative. Our economy in a substantial adverse is driven by the trade sector so if people who are not able to get to China and get their wares, what it means is that activities will slow down that will affect household income and local consumption and that will have a ripple effect on other sectors in the economy,” Dr. Abekah-Nkrumah added.
Effects on businesses
Some spare parts dealers at Abossey Okai in Accra had earlier decried adverse effects the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak in China is having on their businesses.
The dealers said the outbreak of the virus has led to the shortage of some of their stock as their suppliers have suspended production due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
They said although there are alternatives to some of the products they import from China, the associated challenges have slowed down their businesses.
One of the affected business owners told Citi News that: “It is having a negative impact on our business and it is taking a toll on some of the goods we bring in from China. We are now experiencing shortages.”
The World Economic Forum has estimated that the coronavirus in China will slow China's economic growth to 4.5% in the first quarter of 2020 – the slowest pace since the financial crisis.
Factory shutdowns have slowed the flow of products and parts from China, affecting companies around the world.