Cedi depreciation clear reflection of weak structures, non-competitive trade sector – GCB Bank MD

Sam Kwame Yedu Aidoo speaking on behalf of the Managing Director

The Managing Director of GCB Bank PLC, Kofi Adomakoh, says the continuous depreciation of the Cedi—is a clear reflection of the country’s weak economic structures and a non-competitive trade sector.

The Cedi has already lost over 50 percent of its value to the dollar and other major trading currencies, imposing hardship on individuals and businesses alike.

Speaking at the 11TH Ghana Economic Forum theme: ‘Building a robust ad resilient economy through technology, finance, investment, trade and entrepreneurship’ Mr. Adomakoh observed that the elevated risks of debt distress, triggered by the depreciation of the Cedi had led to a widespread reversal of capital, leaving the external balances in a vulnerable state and FX reserves under some serious pressure.

“The high inflation and exchange rate pressures continue to erode businesses’ working capital, not to mention that the rising cost of credit has caused lenders to significantly review lending frameworks in response to current economic uncertainties,” he stated in a remark delivered on his behalf by Sam Kwame Yedu Aidoo, the GCB Bank’s Executive Director, Wholesale and Investment Banking.

Mr. Adomakoh, is, therefore, calling for the institution of immediate measures to resolve the continuous depreciation of the Cedi saying: “We should never allow such a serious crisis to go to waste.”

“As Ghanaians we are faced with a glaring opportunity to pull together in a bid to restructure our economy from a service-driven one, and instead build a robust and resilient one through Technology, Finance, Investment, Trade and Entrepreneurship,” he added.

For him, there must be a deliberate focus to collectively invest in priority sectors to develop Ghana into an Agro processing and light manufacturing led economy, in essence, an approach that may not require significant capital and yet is more labor intensive to provide the needed employment to our youth.

“It is time for a concerted use of Technology to drive revenue collection, bring down costs of doing business as well as breaking down silos across all facets of the economy.  Eliminating silos with digital technology is certainly the key to better collaboration.

Only a few years on from when the mobile money payment interoperability was launched in 2018, the benefits are clear for all to see. With a single integration with the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement System (GhIPSS), an entity can reach All banks, Mobile Money Operators, Savings and loans companies and Rural banks too,” he stated.

The move, he stated will significantly reduce barriers to market for fintechs and financial institutions new to the market.  “It is important that the third phase of this project by GhIPSS, which will now bring the focus to the interoperability of Agents and Merchants be pursued.  Silos are indeed the enemy of digital transformation,” he stated.

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