Ghana’s president outlines measures to halt depreciation of the cedi

CAMBRIDGE, MA - MARCH 29: President of Ghana Nana Akufo-Addo delivers the Keynote Address for the 2019 10th Annual Africa Development Conference at Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government on March 29, 2019 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (Photo by Paul Marotta/Getty Images)
FILE PHOTO – Ghanaian president, Nana Akufo-Addo delivers the Keynote Address for the 2019 10th Annual Africa Development Conference. /Getty Images

Ghana President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo outlined measures to halt the depreciation of the Ghana cedi.

Bank of Ghana’s latest official data released in October said the Ghana cedi had depreciated by 37.5 percent between January and August this year.

Among President Akufo-Addo’s suggestions include, restoring macroeconomic stability though an IMF supported program, reducing debt-to-GDP ratio by 55 percent by 2028, and tackling speculation to limit volatility to the cedi.

He said this action, when introduced, would make available foreign exchange and boost the domestic foreign exchange market.

Turning to the systemic challenges that create difficulties in the forex market, Akufo-Addo said the government would introduce more stringent measures to discourage the importation of goods that could be produced locally.

“We will review the standards required for imports into the country, prioritize the imports, and review the management of our foreign exchange reserves in relation to imports of products such as rice, poultry, vegetable oil, toothpicks, pasta, fruit juice, bottled water, and ceramic tiles,” he stated.

With intensified government support and that of the banking sector, he said there was the capacity to manufacture and produce some of these products locally in sufficient quantities.

“In the interest of national security, we must urgently reduce our dependence on imported goods, and enhance our self-reliance,” Akufo-Addo said, adding he was confident that these immediate measures will go a long way to sanitize the foreign exchange market and make it more resilient against external vulnerabilities going forward.