General News of Saturday, 25 February 2017
Africa’s economy will be thrown off gear if the rest of the continent decide to reject products of South African origin over the xenophobic attacks in that country, Dr Yaw Gebeh, an international relations analyst, has said.
His comment follows a call by the Minority Chief Whip, Mubarak Mohammed Muntaka, that there should be a boycott of South African products by Ghana and in the rest of Africa following the re-emergence of xenophobic attacks in that country.
Ghanaians and foreign nationals are living in fear in most cities of that country, especially Johannesburg and Pretoria, and are unable to go about their normal business activities.
To show Africa’s displeasure at the South Africans for their attacks, the Asawase legislator, speaking in parliament on Friday 24 February, called on the rest of Africa to reject South African products.
According to him, there are lots of South African businesses scattered across Africa and boycotting their products will send a strong signal from the rest of Africa about their displeasure with the attacks on their nationals.
“Can all Africans avoid any product from South Africa as a way of showing them that we depend on each other?” he quizzed.
“…Since the xenophobic attacks in 2015, I have not bought anything in South Africa apart from the food and water that I drink and I said it in the Pan Africa parliament because that was my protest as an individual to show that I’ll never go to their market to buy anything and I have stuck to that up to date. Mr Speaker, yes, we need to be diplomatic but the only way that a blind man can see that the eye of the sighted is really red is for him to give him/her a knock. …I think the time has come for African people to unite around this and at least not to also violently attack their properties in our country and not to violently attack their citizens in our country but to boycott their products.”
According to him, “if we begin to boycott any South African product, they‘ll begin to feel the heat and that will let them know that we’ll not countenance this”.
However, commenting on the matter in an interview with Class91.3FM on Friday February 24, Dr Gebeh said: “All African governments must come together and call on South Africa to stop this, to halt this menace. It is not in the interest of black Africa much more to talk about the current South African government.
“Boycotting South African products, they (South African governments) might also think about how to retaliate and before you realise the African continent might find itself in jeopardy so I don’t think that is the way out.