President Akufo-Addo has said the Ghanaian taste for foreign goods is to blame for the depreciation of the country’s currency, the cedi.
According to him, if the majority of the products consumed in Ghana were produced locally, the incident of currency depreciation will not occur.
Addressing the leadership of the Ghana Bar Association at a meeting at the Jubilee House on Tuesday, the president called for broadening of the discussions on the struggling cedi which he previously said has left him “extremely upset and anxious”.
He added that the focus of discussions on the country currency must be on the structural issues which in his view has not been much articulated.
“We live in a country where we are overly dependent on the importation of things for our daily sustenance; things that we can produce, we continue to import them. At the same time, we don’t generate enough exports,” the President said.
He explained further that “it is the issue on the current account, the persistent deficit in our national income statistics on our current account that is what gives rise to the frailty of our currency.”
The value of the cedi until earlier this week had greatly reduced, sparking concerns of serious economic challenges.
At a point, it was trading at GHc 5.80 to a dollar but it began gaining strength this week after a government intervention which was actually expected to yield evident results next week.
The state’s short term intervention
The government expects the fresh injection of capital such as the $750 million Standard Bank bridge facility to halt the depreciation of the Cedi.
The government is also eyeing funds from COCOBOD and the launch of the $3 billion Eurobond.
The cedi has depreciated against the dollar from GHc 4.9 to over GHc 5.5 since the turn of the year.
Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta in comments on the government’s short term move said: “we are going after; $300 million, $600 million and another $750 million and 3 billion and [I think] we should be okay. And all of this should happen within the next two or so weeks.”
But the Minority in Parliament has described these measures as unsustainable.