The Ghana cedi has reportedly depreciated against the US dollar in recent times, falling by an average of 0.93 per cent to the ‘greenback’ over the last four weeks.
According to Bank of Ghana (BoG) data on the movement of the currency, the cedi as at December 13, had lost almost 13 per cent of its value to the US dollar compared to the same period in 2018, when it shed about 8.2 per cent to the US currency.
The December 13, 2019 depreciation rate is now the highest in the last four years, although it was a few percentage points shy of the 15.7 per cent depreciation recorded in the whole of 2015.
The current depreciation comes at a time when the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has renewed calls on BoG to limit its intervention in the currency market to help “increase international reserves.”
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In a statement to conclude the 2019 Article IV Consultations, the fund said its directors “stressed the need to increase international reserves by limiting central bank intervention and to entrench monetary financing limits in domestic law to protect the Bank of Ghana’s balance sheet and strengthen the inflation targeting framework.”
Although a perennial challenge, the Head of Research at BoG, Mr Philip Abradu-Otoo, told the GRAPHIC BUSINESS on December 16 that the current depreciation was largely due to a recent adjustment in the central bank’s reference rate on foreign exchange and the pressure that the government’s revenue mobilisation and expenditure choices were exerting on the economy.
“We moved our reference rate up and that has sent some false signal to the banks that rates will have to go up,” he said in an interview.
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In other news, Global ranking of countries with most women entrepreneurs according to the latest Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE) has revealed that Ghana has placed second.
The annual Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs found that nearly 4 out of every 10 business owners in Ghana were women after Uganda placed first.
The report which assessed 58 countries globally, highlighted some challenges of women business owners in sub-Saharan Africa, which include disparity in access to the internet and technology, barriers to accessing funding, restrictive cultural and social norms among others.
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