Independence Day: Ghana celebrates 67th anniversary with 13 cedis to one dollar

Ghana marks its independence anniversary on March 6.

As Ghana prepares to mark its 67th birthday as an independent nation tomorrow, millions of citizens currently are groaning with pain from what local and foreign observers describe as the worst economic crisis in a generation.

While the government claims the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine War occasioned the rise in fertiliser, food and fuel prices in the country, opposition parties and nonaligned analysts say the nationwide economic hardship rather stemmed from government’s failure to manage the country’s resources well.

File photo: Ghanaians hit the streets of Accra over economic meltdown under the Akufo-Addo Administration.

There are millions who are angry, and say they cannot wait to give the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) the thumbs down when Ghana goes to the polls by close of the year, not only because of the economic hardship but also for lack of accountability.

File photo: Ghanaians protest economic hardship under the Akufo-Addo Administration.

The West African state is faced with high unemployment rates, low productivity, high inflation, debt crisis, persistent electric power outage in some parts of the country and devaluation of the local currency, the cedi.

As of 6:44 p.m. March 5, 2024, the exchange rate or value of 1 United States dollar in the Ghanaian currency is 13 Ghana cedis.

The cedi has seen consistent fall against the dollar for years.

When the rate of the cedi depreciation hit $1 to Gh¢9 under the erstwhile John Dramani Mahama Administration, Ghana’s current Vice-President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, criticised the government heavily as the vice-presidential candidate of the opposition NPP at the time.

A short video of Vice-President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia’s presentation on cedi depreciation in opposition.

Three months after the NPP won power in 2016, Bawumia announced at a town hall meeting that the free fall of the cedi had been arrested and the keys to the cells (where the cedi free fall was being held) given to Inspector General of Police (IGP) for safekeeping.

The dollar was ‘arrested’ and ‘put behind bars’ in 2017 in Ghana.

As the cedi depreciation rather worsened under the NPP government, proving Bawumia wrong, former president Mahama remarked in 2022 that Bawumia rather had jailed the cedi and bailed the dollar from the cells, aiding the dollar to escape criminal prosecution.

Mahama also commented later, as the country’s state of affairs continued to worsen, that the dollar had rather arrested Bawumia.

Former President John Dramani Mahama.

The national independence anniversary parade takes place in Koforidua, capital town of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s home Eastern region.

The President of Ivory Coast, Alassane Dramane Ouattara, whose country is among some West African states that have won praises from critics of the Akufo-Addo government for managing their resources well despite the global impact of the same Covid-19 and Russian-Ukraine War being used in Ghana today by the government as excuses for the economic downturn, will be the Special Guest of Honour at the Koforidua parade.

Ivory Coast’s President Alassane Ouattara.

The 67th independence anniversary is themed: “Our Democracy, Our Pride”.

Source: Edward Adeti/Media Without Borders/


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