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Weekly Round-up: Gloomy Future for the Cedi, Gobe Inflation Rises, EC Begins Limited Registration and Ghanaians Commemorate May 9

In our weekly round-up, we bring you stories that made the headlines for the week.

As we draw closer to an election period, talks about the economy and electoral processes will continue to dominate our space but it appears the good tidings of the Ghanaian Cedi may die eventually. Bloomberg has predicted a gloomy future for the Cedi but imagine not being able to afford your favourite affordable food (Gobe) anymore due to its high production cost. But on the good side, April inflation recorded a marginal drop.

The Electoral Commission began its limited registration to rope in first-time voter ID card bearers but the opposition disagrees with some of its methods. In a sad but necessary ritual, Ghanaians remember the May 9 disaster.

In our weekly round-up, we bring you stories that made the headlines for the week.

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Bloomberg Predicts Historic Decline of the Cedi, Gobe Inflation Hits 96% as April Inflation Dipped 


In stark contrast to Fitch’s report of a possible appreciation of the Cedi, Bloomberg predicts a historic decline of the Cedi by the year ending 2024. This conclusion was formulated based on the spot rate and the interest rate differentials between the two currencies for the tenor of the forward.

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The current decline of the Cedi is said to be the longest period of weakness against the dollar. The local currency, according to Bloomberg’s data, has seen the longest streak of zero gains against the dollar in the last 22 trading sessions since 1994.

Still on inflation, and price hikes, despite the marginal fall of inflation in April, the Gobe army has had its fair share of harsh inflation as it hit 96% in April.

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According to the latest report by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), Ghana’s inflation rate dipped slightly in April 2024. The inflation rate is estimated to be around 25%, marking a marginal decrease of 0.8% compared to March 2024 (25.8%).

While non-food inflation remains at an estimated 23.5%, locally produced items reportedly faced an inflation rate of 25.7%, while imported items saw a slightly lower rate of 23.5%.

This influenced the negative inflation growth of popular Ghanaian delicacy, gari and beans with fried ripe plantain recently christened ‘Gobe’. According to data from GSS, the delicacy was part of the top 10 items with the highest inflation in April – however a drop from 50.1% in March 2024 to 49.1% in April.


EC Began Limited Registration Exercise, Nana Addo Rejects MFWA as Ghanaians Commemorate May 9 Disaster


On May 7, 2024, the Electoral Commission(EC) began a nationwide limited registration exercise to enrol prospective voters to participate in the upcoming December 7 elections in Ghana. Despite experiencing technical issues in the early hours of the day, the EC managed to successfully resolve the situation.

The EC had also within that period turned down requests by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to record serial numbers of BVR machines being used for the registration exercise, citing security risks and possible data breaches.

In response to that, the national chairman of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, expressed concern over the Electoral Commission’s (EC) resistance to their agents recording serial numbers of Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits.

“We are determined to ringfence the threat and risk to the 2024 elections by documenting the serial numbers of each BVR kit that will be used in this registration exercise,” said the NDC National Chairman.

In addressing the technical challenges that hit some registration centres, Afenyo Markins the majority leader in parliament urged the EC to prepare contingency plans during the registration process.

“The Electoral Commission must improve on its system of registration. Obviously, if we are all talking about network failures, then I am not sure that they will be able to complete on schedule. The frustrations and the delays must be addressed,” he said.

Outside the confines of elections, Ghanaians commemorated the May 9 disaster, a remembrance of a dark day in the history of Ghanaian sports – where many football lovers who throng the Accra Sports Stadium never returned the same.


Dormaa Hene Dares Bawumia, State Agencies Play Chaskele with Cecilia Dapaah as Galamsey Continues to Ravage Cocoa Sector


In what seemed like a subtle warning, the Dormaa hene, Nana Agyemang Badu II has asked flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr Mahamudu Bawumia to select a running mate from his (chief) region or risk losing the votes of his people.

 

“Your Excellency, please, I know very soon you will select your running mate. If you have selected one already, I haven’t heard… There are many people in most of the regions, but if you are not careful and you focus only on some regions, they will vote for you, but the rest of us will vote against you,” the traditional ruler said.

After the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) said it would return the docket from the Office of Special Prosecutor (OSP) for former sanitation minister, Cecilia Dapaah to be investigated for money laundering, it became obvious that the two agencies were playing blame games with each other – a charade maybe.

Because, while EOCO said its findings so far had not shown any allegations to be true even with confirmation from the Attorney-General’s Office, the OSP had also been blamed for failing to provide all the necessary documents to enable EOCO to make a meaningful investigation.

On agriculture, the state continues to grapple with illegal mining (galamsey) as it continues to ravage the cocoa sector. According to Joseph Adu Boahen, the CEO of Ghana’s COCOBOD, climate change and galamsey are the top two greatest threats to cocoa production.

But as authorities are slow at addressing the pressing issues of climate change and “galamsey”, it only leaves uncertainties for the sector, which has long been described as the backbone of Ghana’s economy.

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