EconomyFact Check

Misleading; Ghana cedi didn’t officially depreciate by 40% in 2014

Claim: The Member of Parliament for Kwadaso, Dr Kingsley Nyarko, has claimed Ghana recorded a 40% depreciation rate in 2014.

While it is true that Ghana recorded its worst annual currency depreciation and was pronounced the country with the worst-performing currency in 2014, it is misleading to say that the cedi depreciated by 40 percent in that year, as claimed by Dr Nyarko. The year 2014 ended officially with a cedi depreciation of 31.2 percent.

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The Member of Parliament for the Kwadaso constituency in the Ashanti region, Dr Kingsley Nyarko, was a panellist on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana show on Thursday, July 28, 2022. He was contributing to a discussion about the health of Ghana’s economy. In his analysis, Dr Nyarko sought to compare administrations, insisting that NPP administrations have always performed better than those of NDC.

“Randy, do you know that the worst depreciation of our currency happened in 2014? [It was] 40%, 40%under Mahama. That was when our cedi was adjudged the worst-performing currency in the world, 2014. Randy, the figures are here,” he said.

The show on which Dr Nyarko made the claim was posted to the social media platform Facebook and has since garnered over 3, 000 comments. The exact claim, 20 seconds long, can be heard from the 51 minutes 11 seconds to 51 minutes 31 seconds of the almost two-and-a-half-hour show.

But that wasn’t the first time an NPP official would make such a claim. Indeed, a leading member of the party, also a private legal practitioner, Mr Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, on March 22, 2022, tweeted an August 3, 2014 publication by the London-based Financial Times, which asserted a similar claim that has already warranted an independent verification.


Depreciation of a currency is a fall in the value of that currency in comparison to other currencies, especially the dollar. If orderly and gradual, cedi depreciation helps to improve export competitiveness and trade deficit. On the other hand, abrupt and sizable cedi depreciation may scare away foreign investors who fear the currency may fall further.

The depreciation of a currency could potentially have an impact on the cost of import and export, as well as on inflation and the general performance of an economy. According to the Central Bank, Ghana practices a flexible or floating exchange rate regime. This means the performance of the currency is largely determined by the supply and demand of other currencies with the government playing little or no role in fixing prices.  These prices or rates are largely determined by interbank rates or the forex bureau. 

So, to verify the claim by Dr Kingsley Nyarko, Dubawa Ghana combed through data from major statutory institutions including the Bank of Ghana and the budget statements for 2014 in order to get the accurate data on the exchange rate depreciation for 2014.

Indeed, at the time of the Financial Times publication of August 3, 2014, which Mr Otchere-Darko tweeted, the Ghana cedi wasn’t faring well against the dollar. According to the 3rd paragraph of the Bank of Ghana Monetary Policy Report: Inflation Outlook and Analysis of July 2014, the cedi had depreciated in the 1st quarter by 17.6%, in the 2nd quarter by 8.8%, and cumulatively by 26.7%.

However, by the close of the 4th quarter and of the year, the Ghana cedi’s depreciation stood at 31.2%, as announced by the then-governor, Dr Henry Kofi Wampah in a February 19, 2015 Daily Graphic report.

According to the World Bank (see page 4, paragraph 1), by July 2014, the cedi had depreciated officially by 35% to the dollar in the official interbank market. But on the Forex Bureau market, the currency had depreciated by 43%.

Ghana’s Central Bank regulates all financial activities in Ghana. It also provides annual data on the country’s fiscal and monetary performances, particularly, the exchange rate depreciation. The 2014 Bank of Ghana Annual Report (see page 15)  put the cedi depreciation at 31.19%.

The budget statements also provide information on the health of an economy with data on economic performance for a particular year under review and a projection or estimates for the ensuing year. DUBAWA examined the 2015 Budget Statement and Economic Policy (see page 17), which provided data for the 2014 financial year including the exchange rate depreciation. According to the statement, the cedi depreciation for 2014 was 31.3%.


On the evidence of DUBAWA’s investigation, we can report that the 40% claim by the Member of Parliament for the Kwadaso constituency, Dr Kingsley Nyarko, is misleading. This is so despite the fact that in 2014 Ghana’s cedi witnessed the highest annual depreciation against the dollar, the official rate of depreciation at the banks was 31.2%.

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