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Opinions of Thursday, 17 July 2014

Columnist: Sarpong, Justice

Ghana's Economy Is Booming Due To The Cedi's Depreciation-NDC

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The Ndc Party, as cunning as they are have taken the disastrous falling of the cedi's value as blessing. They have taken the saying "every misfortune is a blessing" and given it a different meaning sending their propaganda employees to the towns and villages of Ghana telling them that, they have improved the economy because now if somebody send you a dollars from America instead of getting one cedi for a dollar in Kufuor's time, now you get almost four cedis for one dollar. Folks, you see how the minds of these callous People work? This has not even escaped their Economic gurus like Fiifi Fiavi Kwetey who said recently that,"The Depreciation Of Ghana Cedi Is A Blessing In Disguise" -

The devaluation of Ghana’s Cedi against the major trading currencies is of great concern to importers and traders due to its rippling effects on the national economy, but a Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning in-charge of Financial and Allied Institutions believes it’s a blessing in disguise. According to Hon. Fifi Fiavi Kwetey, the depreciation of any currency comes with advantages that could be tapped for the betterment of the country's economy.

“…the depreciation of the currency should actually be a blessing for countries that are looking at exporting but the reason why we are complaining and suffering is because our country is filled with imports,” he claimed.

Is Fiifi Fiavi Kwetey a real Economist? This is a guy that called Dr. Bawumiah's analysis of the economic situation in Ghana and here he is talking about Economic theory that even High school graduates know is not practicable in all situations especially in an economy like Ghana where we import tooth picks and 'poisons' like turkey tails.

This advice comes in the wake of a weak national currency which has led to demonstrations and closure of shops by the Ghana Union Traders Association (GUTA) to press home their demand for government to take action to stabilize the Cedi.

Was Fiifi Kwetey being showery when he said that? What do we export that will make the depreciation of the cedi a blessing? Even Mr Kwetey is well aware we import more than what we export so how can this be a blessing to an importing country like Ghana when what we export is raw materials like cocoa, oil, gold etc that cannot even be increased in the short and medium terms to take advantage of the cedi's depreciation.? Fiifi is heralded by Ndc as one of its rising Economic gurus but his understanding of Economics is very pedestrian and I am not being foofaraw about this. It seems to me Fiifi Kwetey learnt the theories of this Economic subject without applying the practicality aspect of this Economic theory.

Fiifi Kwetey just read from a textbook which says that a devalued currency is good for export and imbibed that theory without learning further that, its practicality is more in sync with industrialized countries with manufacturing industries . He is right but sorry to say he can not apply knowledge to a situation. You do not just begin to export because the value of your currency is going down. The question is what is to be exported?, what is it that his economy is producing? In the Ghana situation, a fall of the cedi is a curse and not a blessing. This can be a blessing in China, USA, Germany, Japan, South Korea and others because these countries export a lot of manufactured goods. Is this a finance minister at the Presidency? This is empty-headedness and that is why our economy is in a mess because I shudder to believe this guy is giving financial and economic advice to the President.

As I said earlier, we don't export manufactured goods to take advantage of a weak dollar. All we export is raw materials like Cocoa, oil, Gold, Timber etc and it is not like we have some of these goods in storage that we couldn't export because of high prices that we can immediately bring to the market and export.All sectors of the economy is showing negative growth and he's talking of exports. Can FiifiKwetey tell us how the depreciated cedi is a blessing to Ghana at the moment when we don't have any available goods to export?

Another area that a weakened currency can take advantage of immediately is tourism industry. A weakened Kenya Shillings will help Kenya double or triple its developed tourism industry with Safari tours from Europe, China and USA but not in Ghana where our beaches have been turned into toilets and it's an eyesore to even the locals for the depreciated cedi to take advantage of. We have a lot of tourist attractions, Paga crocodile pond, Kintampo Waterfalls, and a lot of places in Volta Region if we can develop them.

Fiifi Flavi Kwetey is your typical Ghanaian educated illiterate with a "chew and pour" theory based education and not practically challenged mind. We have a lot of these people in the present Mahama administration and not because we don't have well educated Economist and financial gurus in Ndc, we do with people like Dr. Botwe, Kwame Peprah,Dr. Cadman Mills etc but it seems to me President Mahama cannot deal with strong characters who can disagree with him so he has surrounded himself with praise singers, children with sharp teethes, Yes Sir 'Massa' types who are all willing to do anything to please him irrespective of how it will affect economy. You listen to people like Afriyie Ankrah, Fiifi, Ofosu Kwakye, Yamin and others and you start shaking your head about what Mahama saw in them to make them Ministers.

Justice Sarpong


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