The maiden edition of the Metro TV’s Economic Dialogue Series on the theme ‘Fixing the Ghana Cedi; Key to Sustainable Growth’ comes off today at the Metro TV studios in Accra.
The dialogue, which will feature seasoned economists and industry players, will set the stage for a paradigm shift in economic discourse in Ghana. It will be televised live from 10 am, with engagements from both online and live audience on topics centred on the theme for the day.
Speakers from diverse backgrounds will share experiences on how the cedi’s continuous poor performances have impacted their businesses, and share suggestions on how the cedi can be strengthened. This is expected to help shape governments policy in this difficult economic situation.
Metro TV is one of the channels under the ignite media group, made up of Metro TV, Original TV&FM, metrotvonline.com and myoriginalonline.com. The programme will be chaired by Alhassan Andani, Founder and Executive Chairman of LVS Africa and Former Managing Director of Stanbic Bank.
Other key speakers include Dr. Agyapomaa Gyeke-Dako, Senior Lecturer (Economics), University of Ghana Business School (UGBS); Dr. Adu Owusu Sarkodie, Economics Lecturer, University of Ghana; Dr. Humphrey Ayim-Darke, President of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI); Dr. Joseph Obeng, President of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA); Dr. Hazel Berrard Amuah, Chief Executive Officer of Prudential Life Insurance; Joe Jackson, Director of Business Operations at Dalex Finance; and Edward Kareweh, the General Secretary of the General Agricultural Workers Union.
Also attending the dialogue is Dr. Sam Ankrah, Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Chartered Economists and President of Africa Investment Group.
The World Bank has ranked the Ghana cedi as the worst-performing currency in Africa since the beginning of the year, with a depreciation of 60 percent against the United States dollar. This was contained in the World Bank Africa’s Pulse Report October 2022 Volume.
Over 25 percent of that loss has come in October alone as the decline in the cedi has accelerated at its sharpest rate since it was re-denominated 15 years ago. The Ghanaian Government has been forced to seek assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as it faces soaring inflation, high debt, rapidly rising interest rates abroad, and falling prices for cocoa – one of its major exports.
In 2020, the cedi was the best performing currency against the dollar at the start of the year, gaining 7.3 percent by mid-February. This followed a 13 percent decline in 2019. The cedi retreated slightly from the gains in March 2020, and remained relatively stable between GH¢5 to GH¢6 to the dollar until this year’s underperformance.
The economic dialogue is expected to outline measures to strengthen the cedi, and help shape governments policy in that direction.
The USD/GHS exchange rate started 2022 at 6.15 and moved above 7 in March, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine and as the US Federal Reserve (Fed) began raising interest rates. Emerging markets have seen a jump in capital outflows since the start of the war in Ukraine as investors have become more risk averse and sought safe haven in assets such as the USD.
The poor economic run saw some rating agencies – S&P Global and Fitch Ratings – downgrade their Ghana’s economy, which further weighed on investor sentiment and exerted additional downward pressure on the exchange rate
Economists have suggested engaging discussions for workable solutions on restoring confidence in the cedi and boosting the economy, and this requires engagements with various stakeholders of the economy. Speakers will proffer solutions on strengthening the Ghana cedi to boost economic development.