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GHAFET Warns of Protest Over Cedi Depreciation If Government Fails to Act

GHAFET threatens to protest if Cedi depreciation isn't mitigated.

The Ghana Federation of Traders (GHAFET) has cautioned that they will stage a nationwide demonstration if the government fails to take necessary steps to reduce the exchange rate from Ghc 15.50 to Ghc 10 per dollar in the next two weeks.

The seven business groups in a press statement on May 26, 2024, said the falling value of the cedi is hurting businesses and traders’ capital.

“We call upon the government to prioritize the needs of businesses and take decisive steps to lower the exchange rate, thereby providing a lifeline to struggling enterprises. We promise to stage a strong nationwide demonstration if the government fails to address the situation swiftly in two weeks,” according to the statement.

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They believe the government is not doing enough to fix the problem, despite promising to stabilize the economy and exchange rates.

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The seven business groups are made up of the Automobile Dealers Union, Abossey Okai Spare Parts Dealers Association, a traders advocacy group of Ghana, Ghana Union of Textiles and Garments, Ghana Union of Beauty and Cosmetics, Ghana Union of second-hand fridge dealers and Ghana Union of second-hand clothing.

GHAFET compared the performance of the cedi to the dollar under successive governments, noting it was Ghc 1.057 per dollar in 2008, Ghc 1.972 in 2012, and Ghc 3.945 in 2016.

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Under the current government, it has surged to Ghc 15.17, negatively affecting business owners, consumers, and livelihoods.

“In 2008, the cedi was Ghc 1.057 to the dollar. 2012 recorded Ghc  1.972 to the dollar, whereas 2016 recorded Ghc 3.945 to the dollar. The rate has skyrocketed from Ghc 3.945. to Ghc 15.17 under this current government, and it is distasteful to all business owners, and consumers and generally impacts on livelihood,” the statement said.

The Ghana Federation of Traders urged all business owners, associations, trade unions, and affected Ghanaians to join them in the protest against the government if drastic measures to address the cedi’s depreciation are not implemented within the next two weeks.

The Ghanaian cedi has lost nearly 10% of its value against the US dollar in the first four months of 2024, a decline from the 22.73% depreciation recorded by April 2023.

The Bank of Ghana will auction $120 million to BDCs in the second quarter of 2024 to stabilize the cedi, but business demand for dollars may complicate this effort.

Despite a 29% policy rate and average lending rates over 32%, currency volatility concerns remain.

However, Governor Dr. Ernest Addison has expressed optimism, citing strong reserves from improved remittance inflows as a buffer for the Cedi’s stability in the coming months.

GHAFET
PRESS RELEASE BY GHAFET
PRESS RELEASE BY GHAFET
PRESS RELEASE BY GHAFET

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