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Cedi Depreciation: gov’t confused, experts rehash old proposals

Adnan Adams Mohammed

As Ghana’s local currency is rated the worst performing currency in the world which has left the government in a confused state with its monetary policy controls.

The Cedi has depreciated more than 35 percent on the interbank rate and more than 42 percent on the forex bureau market. The Cedi currently sells at about GHC9.20 to U.S $1.0 at forex bureas.

The president of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) has called on the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to relax the laws on transacting business in dollars at the banks.

“Doing business in forex is like calling for an audit so many people shy away from doing legitimate business with the banks in dollars”, Dr. Joseph Obeng

“The laws in dealing with forex at the banks are time-consuming and too cumbersome which has resulted in the booming black market for the exchange of dollars in the country. A lot of people including foreigners now go to the black market to deal in forex in blatant disregard of the laws on forex in the country.

“In other jurisdictions, if you have to change forex, an identity like a passport is needed but here the market is free for all,” he lamented.    

This, he explained has contributed to the fast depreciation of the cedis.

Which has badly affected businesses, contributing to the swindling of the working capital of business people in the country.

“Now you need about one million Ghana Cedis to be able to do business worth one hundred thousand dollars because the dollar is being bought at GHS10”, he bemoaned.

He suggested a review of the country’s investment laws adding that this has also contributed to capital flight which in the end has pushed the depreciation of the cedi

Consequently, the Vice President of GUTA, Clement Boateng argued that some of the foreign firms and traders are importing huge products into the country, which they do not even keep half of the proceeds.

“Foreigners are doing about 85% of the imports into this country. At the end of the day, this poses a threat to our foreign reserve as they equally take all the profits out of the country”.

“This also has to do with our investment laws, which need to be revised”, he added

Meanwhile, members of the association in the coming days will protest against some issues impacting ion their businesses, including the falling value of the cedi and the high lending rate.

Also, the Executive Director of Danquah Institute, Dr. Antoinette Tsiboe Darko has rehasd calls on the appropriate authorities to speedily put in place measures to reduce the dollarisation in the economy.

According to her, the pricing of goods and services in dollars is a structural defect which has worsen the economic challenges confronting the country.

She compares the situation to our neighboring francophone countries and maintains that the CFA appreciates better than the Cedi.

“We have structural issues which speak to the issues we are currently facing. We have a dollarized economy. It is something that has historically gone with us and we keep going along with it. When you go into a Francophone country, it is the CFA that comes to fore when you want to buy something but how come that in Ghana it is the dollar that is mentioned first?. This is something that we have to fight to make sure that the dollar economy is minimized so that we can have confidence in our own cedi”, she said in an interview, last week.

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