Gov’t must embark on structural change to stabilize cedi—Economist

By: Frank Sackey

Economist, Dr. Ebo Tuckson has urged government to as a matter of urgency implement the needed structural changes in the economy to strengthen the Cedi.

His comment follows widespread concern from different sections of the public about the performance of the local currency against the US dollar and other international currencies.

The Bank of Ghana (BoG) as part of efforts to stabilize the local currency which has weakened by over 8 percent this year has issued some directives on how participants in the forex market must conduct their businesses.

The new directives which have been implemented since 25 February, 2019 are also targeted at improving information flow on how operators in the forex market will react and act on issues related to the cedi dollar relationship.

 

In an interview with Citi Business News on the state of the Cedi Dr. Turkson stated that even though the increase in international reserves is important there is an urgent need for structural changes to the economy if the local currency can be strengthened for the long term.

“The Central Bank can only introduce the reserves we have to cushion the Cedi. But there are other structural bottlenecks that we need to get around. We are becoming too much dependent on imports”.

He maintained that it is time for the One District One Factory (1D1F) to be a priority in order to reduce imports.

“Because these factories are expected to produce the import substitutes to reduce our reliance on imports, which will reduce the great demand for dollars from importers.  We also need to diversify our exports into higher additions, with particular focus on agro”, he stressed.

He stated that even though some persons are taking advantage of the current weakness of the local currency to enrich themselves, he was confident that the injection of some dollars into the system will go a long way to stabilize the currency, bringing some normalcy into the forex market.

“No stock or interest bearing assets will give people the kind of returns they’ll get for buying and selling Dollars in these times. But if the Central Bank is able to introduce the reserves into the system and stabilizes the currency momentarily for a few days, the expectations about the Dollar will tone down, and people will begin to sell off their Dollars and when that happens you’ll see that the supply will begin to increase thereby helping the Cedi appreciate.”

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