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Opinions of Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Columnist: Nathaniel N. O. Rudolph

Bring back the Cedi sign

I have observed with a heavy heart how we have gradually buried the cedi sign in replacement for GHS.

I vividly recall, during the transition period which began on the 1st of July, 2007, The Central Bank (Bank of Ghana) directed that both the old currency and the newly introduced currency (the New Ghana Cedi) should circulate concurrently for one year. In order to differentiate the old currency from the new, the bank introduced GH? sign when transacting in the new cedi.

Unlike the dollar ($) which is a common currency for many nations like the United States of America, Canada, Liberia, Zimbabwe etc. for which one needs to prefix the country code to determine the origin of that dollar ($), the cedi is unique to only Ghana. None of the 195 countries of the world uses the cedi sign as a currency. So, there is absolutely no need to prefix the country code to the currency sign (¢) after the old cedis went out of circulation in 2008.

To make it more absurd you would have noticed that both GH¢ and GHS are being used to define our currency and it signifies a confused state for which the Bank of Ghana has to come out to correct this anomaly we have endured in the past decade.

You will never find the Japanese writing JPNYen. that is, prefixing the country code (JPN) before the currency (Yen). The simple reason is that the YEN is sacrosanct to Japan. In the same vein, the ¢ is sacrosanct to Ghana only, hence we do not need any prefix.

I am thus appealing to the Central Bank to as a matter of urgency address this anomaly. It must be pointed out that the cedi (¢) sign has a lot of rich history and speaks to the very core of our economic and transactional existence as a people.

May we not copy blindly. Let’s maintain our uniqueness and rich history as Ghanaians in every facet. This is how we should write ¢1,000.00 and NOT GHS1,000.00

Bring back the cedi.