- Mar 11, 2020
- 4 Comments
The Cedi, the official currency of Ghana, first became legal tender on July 19, 1965, and like any other legal tender, it is a marketable good most suitable in exchange for other goods or services. The Cedi has gone through several changes over the years, notably, a series of devaluations and currency confiscations, two minor variations in name and one major redenomination.
The Bank of Ghana, though the custodian and controller of the currency, hasn’t been able to shield it much from the intense public scrutiny it faces. One such topical issue is the value of the cedi. This topic has received its fair share of attention in our national discourse.
It’s however worth noting that talks on the value of the cedi has become much more rife in our day than it has been in any period in history, perhaps because this era is blessed with the freedom of the media, as well as communication technology to advance the discourse on the value of the cedi.
Generally, the value of money is seen in its purchasing power which is driven by demand and supply, as is with the price of all other economic goods and services. This is the reason the value of money fluctuates almost incessantly. One basic function which the Central Bank has somewhat failed at, is the ability to keep such fluctuations under control as regards the Cedi.
The Cedi is like any other currency, but at the same time, unlike any other currency; it is unique in its own way. So what makes the Cedi different? Are the supply and demand factors the same for other currencies? Are other currencies controlled differently? Why is the discourse on the value of the cedi so important? These are some of the questions that come to play when talks of the Cedi come up.
It may appear that the value of our currency means different things to different people and at different times. This is quite obvious listening to various professionals and intellectuals discussing the same thing. To some, the value of the cedi is found only when compared to the macho currencies, in essence, the Dollar, the Pound and The Euro. To others, the value of the cedi is seen in the evaluation of a particular year’s performance to another’s.
But what does the value of the cedi mean to the Ghanaian who views it not as a business man, nor a highly educated man, nor a government official, but as a Ghanaian in the traditional sense of the word?
You’re most welcome to take the discourse further albeit dispassionately. Hopefully, in an atmosphere of sincere objectivity, energy will be directed more at how much Cedi is made and how much needs spending for a decent life. The discussions may also become more focused on how much Ghana makes from other countries, relative to how much others make from Ghana.