Cedi Rising…Duncan Williams’ Prayer Or Prudent Measures?

Trading on the interbank market as at close of yesterday, Wednesday, February 12 suggest a rebound of the local currency, the cedi which has for some time now slumped against major international currencies. It is however, not yet established whether the great performance of the cedi on the market since Tuesday is as a result of the recent stringent measures announced by the BoG to arrest the fast depreciation cedi or, the ‘powerful’ prayers by the General Overseer of Action Chapel International for the local currency to ‘rise’. As of last Sunday, February 9, the cedi which traded near GHC 3 to the dollar was yesterday being sold at GHC 2.40 to a dollar with the buying rate pegged at GHC2.30. A brief survey by this paper yesterday in the capital city revealed how some black marketers who had hoarded dollars hoping to profit were weeping uncontrollably as a result of loses following the sharp depreciation of the dollar to the cedi. Whereas a Zambrama black marketer at Nima complained of how he had made loses as a result of the decline in the dollar to cedi rate, his counterpart around Airport residential could not also help than to admit that they have toiled in vain to hoard the dollar hoping for a ‘better’ rate. The local currency has also been performing creditably against the pounds sterling and euro as of close of yesterday. The Cedi has been on a downward slide since the beginning of the year losing nearly 4% in January alone. To arrest the situation, the Bank of Ghana early this month announced enforcement of exchange control laws and introduced additional measures many say are draconian. The Bank of Ghana also pumped $20 million into critical areas of the economy as part of efforts to shore up the cedi. Following outcry from many quarters, government on Monday asked the central bank to clarify some of the measures to ease tension.