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FALSE! Ghana’s President, Vice-President did not launch GH₵500 notes, coins

CLAIM: A TikTok user @kingfreshgh1 claims on Metro TV that Ghana’s President Akufo-Addo and Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia launched GH₵500 notes and coins.

VERDICT: This is False! The President and Vice-President did not launch GH₵500 notes as alleged. A Google, social media, and website check of the two leaders and the Bank of Ghana revealed no activity of the alleged launch or issuance of the GH₵500 notes and coins. 

Full Text

A TikTok user, @kingfreshgh1, has posted a video suggesting that the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, launched a new GH₵500 notes and coins on Metro TV. 

The post has gained significant traction, amassing over 1 million views, 62.1k likes, 927 comments, and more than 2,000 shares. Consequently, the TikTok video has sparked reactions from many users, with some questioning the claim’s authenticity. 

Verification

To investigate whether the President and Vice-President of Ghana launched the GH₵500 notes and coins, DUBAWA searched Google and social media for information on credible websites. However, there was none.

A scan of the president’s and vice-president’s official social media platforms yielded no information regarding the alleged launch of the GH₵500 notes. The Ministry of Finance and Bank of Ghana websites also revealed no information regarding the allegation.

The named television station in the video, Metro TV, shared no information regarding such an event on social media platforms and websites.

Previous claims

A Google Reverse Image search showed that the GH₵500 note claim has been circulating since November 2020. Myjoyonline.com did a story denying the claim that GH₵500 notes had been printed. Graphiconline.com also published an article in March 2023 regarding the alleged GH₵500 notes circulating on social media.

Fact Check Explorer, a leading tool to discover claims fact-checked, revealed a fact-checking article published in March 2021 by Ghana Fact Check in which they found false allegations that the Bank of Ghana had released 500 cedi notes.

“Such fake information is circulated from time to time. Please disregard this information. The Bank would have stated if indeed any such denomination was going to be released,” Head of the Communications Office at the Bank of Ghana, Esi Hammond, said in reaction to the claim.

Bank of Ghana on features of currency notes

According to the Bank of Ghana, all the notes have one portrait at the front, comprising six distinguished Ghanaians who spearheaded the struggle for Ghana’s independence. Also on the front is the Independence Arch, the symbol of the political independence of Ghana.

The “Big Six” that led Ghana to independence in 1957 are:

  • Kwame Nkrumah (1909 – 1972)
  • Emmanuel Odarkwei Obetsebi Lamptey (1902 – 1963)
  • William Ofori Atta (1910 – 1988)
  • Edward Akufo-Addo (1906 – 1979)
  • Ebenezer Ako Adjei (1916 – 2002)
  • Joseph Boakye Danquah (1895 – 1965)

However, the 500 cedi note and coin in the TikTok video circulating shows the names and pictures of Ghana’s first president, Kwame Nkrumah, and the recent five presidents of the Fourth Republic, including the current president Nana Akufo-Addo, John Mahama, John Atta Mills, John Kufour and Jerry John Rawlings. While the coin has the symbol of the coat of arms and the Republic of Ghana, GH₵500 is embossed underneath the symbol.

METRO TV

The television station dissociated itself from the allegation in a story published on its website, stating:

“The Management of Metro TV wishes to categorically state that the trending video is false and that it has never broadcast any such story. The Management hereby issues this disclaimer to dissociate Metro TV from the broadcast and advise our discerning audience to treat the video with the contempt it deserves,” said the Management.

Bank of Ghana’s techniques for identifying counterfeit

According to the Bank of Ghana, below are techniques for identifying counterfeits:

1.      The bearer of the banknote is supposed to compare the suspected banknote with one of the same denominations from a different source.

2.      Do not compare with the reproductions in a brochure (or a printout from the internet), which always differ from the original.

3.      Unfold a received banknote and look at the front and the back.

4.      Check the banknote for security features (refer to the write-up on the Features of the Ghanaian Banknote).

5.      Pay attention to soiled or repaired bills.

6.      The Bank of Ghana can assist you in verifying the validity of a suspected note.

7.      Notify the police as soon as possible if you think that a banknote has been counterfeited.

Conclusion

The claim that the President and Vice-President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Dr Mahumudu Bawumia, launched GH₵500 notes and coins on Metro TV is false.

This publication is a collaborative work between the Department of Communications Studies, University of Ghana and DUBAWA.

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