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Weekly Round-up: Cedi Beefs up; Cocoa Crisis Looms as Market Prices Soar

In our weekly round-up, we summarize the top stories that made the headlines over the week.

In our weekly round-up, we summarize the top stories that made the headlines over the week.

BOG Cedi Measures; Cocoa Crisis and Price Hikes in Goods

The Bank of Ghana has seemingly been making adjustments and putting measures in place to stabilize the underwhelming Cedi against foreign currencies. It aims to return to profitability in the medium term following two consecutive years of substantial losses. In 2022, the BoG reported a significant loss of GH¢60.86 billion, followed by a GH¢10.50 billion loss in 2023, though the latter represents an improvement. However, the Bank hopes to recapitalise and apply efficiency to halt the decline in performance.

But something does seem to be working as the cedi appreciated for the second consecutive day on Wednesday, largely due to the enforcement of regulations governing the forex market and a crackdown on illegal operators. The dollar dropped further to GH¢15.20 at Forex Bureaux, down from GH¢15.50 on Tuesday and GH¢16.30 on Monday.

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However, there’s a looming crisis in the cocoa service industry with several firms exiting the country due to a critical shortage of cocoa beans and powder.

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According to The Accra Times sources, companies like Chocomac have shut down and sent some workers home. Another major brand, Niche, operates only during the day to supply its confectionery factory, while Cargill, an international free zone cocoa processing company, has shut down four times and anticipates another shutdown in three months.

Already, there’s a dramatic price increase primarily due to an unprecedented surge in the international price of cocoa beans. A year ago, cocoa was selling for just over $3,000 per metric ton but soared to over $12,000 by mid-April this year, before settling at just above $8,000 last week.

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Consumers are bearing the brunt of price surges in market goods and products. There’s a sharp increase in food prices disproportionately which has affected low- and middle-income families who spend a larger portion of their income on food.

The General Agriculture Workers Union (GAWU) has predicted that food prices will remain high until the June harvest, raising concerns about potential food insecurity for many Ghanaians.

Afronitaaa & Abigail Light up Britain

Ghanaian dance duo Afronitaa and Abigail Dromo finished third in the just-ended Season 17 of Britain’s Got Talent show on Sunday, June 2, 2024.

Thrilling the audiences in London, the duo put on a compelling dance performance beginning their routine with African-themed songs, including Lebohang Morake’s “Circle of Life,” and gracefully ending their energetic performance with Fuse ODG’s “Antenna remix” featuring Wyclef Jean.

Bawumia Embarks on an E-journey as Mahama Slams Akufo-Addo

Vice President and ruling party flagbearer, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia said about 200 electric buses will be brought into the country as part of an intervention to reduce the cost of public transportation.

On air transportation, the flagbearer has hinted that his government will implement an E-Gate initiative at Kotoka International Airport (KIA), allowing travellers to enter without passing through immigration officers.

On the other side of the aisle, ex-president John Mahama has served President Akufo-Addo a taste of his own medicine. He questioned the competency of the Akufo-Addo government over its inability to manage the CEDI effectively.

Judge Asks AG to Recuse, Turns Down Jakpa, Forson Plea

The High Court Judge (Justice Aria Serwah Asare-Botwe) who presided over the ambulance saga over the week encouraged the attorney-general to recuse himself from the pending ambulance saga.

She explained that it will protect the judicial process and build public trust by ensuring cases are heard in the courtroom, rather than creating the impression that they can be held anywhere else.

The High Court overseeing the ambulance trial involving Minority leader, Cassiel Ato Forson, has dismissed all applications sought by the MP and third accused Richard Jakpa for a mistrial and those into allegations of misconduct by Attorney-General Godfred Dame.

Both Forson and Richard Jakpa had filed separate applications asking the court to declare a mistrial, an injunction, dismiss the case altogether, and an enquiry into allegations of witness tampering against the Attorney-General.

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