Ghana cedi

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from )
Jump to: navigation, search
"₵" redirects here. For the cent, see ¢. For the colón, see .
Ghana cedi
Ghana Cedi banknotes.jpg
Cedi banknotes
ISO 4217 code GHS
Central bank Bank of Ghana
User(s)  Ghana
Inflation 17%
 Source Ghana Statistical Service
 1/100 Ghana pesewa
Symbol GH₵ (Also often GH¢)
 Ghana pesewa Gp
Coins 1, 5, 10, 20, 50Gp, GH₵1
Banknotes GH₵1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50

The Ghana cedi (currency sign: GH₵; currency code: GHS) is the unit of currency of Ghana. It is the fourth and only legal tender in the Republic of Ghana. One Ghana cedi is divided into one hundred Ghana pesewas (Gp)

After the independence of the Gold Coast, as The Republic of Ghana, it separated itself from the British West African pound, which was the currency of the British colonies in the region. The new republics first independent currency was the Ghanaian pound (1958-1965). After Ghana's change to a single-party state a new currency with a African name Cedi (1965-1967) was introduced. The new currency used the modern decimal system instead of the old British pound system.

After a military coup the new leaders wanted to remove the face of the old president, Kwame Nkrumah, from the banknotes. The New Cedi (1967-2007) was worth 1.2 Cedi witch made it equal to a half Pound sterling at its introduction. After decades of high inflation had demised the value of the New cedi, it was gradually phased out in 2007 in favor of the Ghana cedi at a exchange rate of 1:10,000. in 2007 the largest of the New cedi banknotes, the 20,000 note, had a value of about two US dollar. By removing four digits the Ghana cedi became the highest-denominated currency unit issued in Africa. It has since lost about three-fourth of its value.


Cedi with a cowry.

The word cedi is the Fante word for cowry shell which were formerly used as currency in what is now Ghana. The Monetaria moneta or money cowry is not native to West African waters but is a common species in the Indian Ocean. The porcelain-like shells came to West Africa, beginning in the 14th century, through trade with Arab merchants. The shells became an important currency in the slave trade. The first modern coins exclusively used at the Gold Coast was produced in 1796 but cowries was used alongside coins and gold dust as currency until 1901.[1]


First cedi, 1965–1967[edit]

First cedi
Preceded by:
Ghanaian pound
Reason: decimalisation
Ratio: 2.4 first cedi = 1pound, or 1 pesewa = 1 penny
Currency of Ghana
19 July 1965 – 22 February 1967
Succeeded by:
Second cedi
Reason: convenience of exchange and an opportunity to remove Kwame Nkrumah from coins and notes
Ratio: 1 second cedi = 1.2 first cedis

The first cedi was introduced in 1965, replacing the pound at a rate of 2.4 cedi = 1 pound, or 1 pesewa = 1 penny. The first cedi was pegged to the British pound at a rate of 2.4 cedis = 1 pound.

Second cedi (GHC), 1967–2007[edit]

Second cedi
Preceded by:
First cedi
Reason: convenience of exchange and an opportunity to remove Kwame Nkrumah from coins and notes
Ratio: 1 second cedi = 1.2 first cedis = 0.5 pound
Currency of Ghana
23 February 1967 – 2 July 2007
Succeeded by:
Third cedi
Reason: inflation
Ratio: 1 third cedi = 10,000 second cedis

The first cedi was replaced in 1967 by a "new cedi" which was worth 1.2 first cedis. This allowed a decimal conversion with the pound, namely 2 second cedis = 1 pound. The change also provided an opportunity to remove Kwame Nkrumah's image from coins and notes.

The second cedi was initially pegged to the British pound at a rate of 2 cedi = 1 pound. However, within months, the second cedi was devalued to a rate of 2.45 second cedi = 1 pound, less than the value of the first cedi. This rate was equivalent to 1 cedi = 0.98 U.S. dollars and the rate to the dollar was maintained when the British pound was devalued in November 1967. Further pegs were set of $0.55 in 1971, $0.78 in 1972, and $0.8696 in 1973 before the currency was floated in 1978. High inflation ensued, and so the cedi was re-pegged at ₵2.80 = $1.00.

Inflation continued to eat away at the cedi's value on the black market. In the early eighties, the government started cracking down hard on the retail of products at prices other than the official established sale price (price controls). This had the effect of driving nearly all commerce underground, where black market prices for commodities were the norm, and nothing existed on store shelves. By 1983 the cedi was worth about 120 to one U.S. dollar on the black market, a pack of cigarettes cost about ₵150 (if they could be found), but the bank rate continued at ₵2.80 = $1.00. Finally, with foreign currency completely drying up for all import transactions, the government was forced to begin a process of gradual devaluation, and a liberalization of its strict price controls. This process ended in 1990 with a free float of the cedi against foreign currencies. Inflation continued (see exchange rate chart) until by July 2007, the cedi was worth about 9500 to one US dollar, and a transition to the third cedi was initiated.

In 1979 a currency confiscation took place. New banknotes were issued which were exchanged for old at a rate of 10 old for 7 new. Coins and bank accounts were unaffected.

A second confiscation took place in 1982, when the ₵50 note (the highest denomination) was demonetized. Ghanaians, in theory, could exchange any number of ₵50 notes for coins or other banknotes without loss, but foreigners could not make any exchange. However, many Ghanaians who were hoarding large amounts of cedis feared reprisal if they tried to convert all of it, and so simply burned a lot of their money. Many other Ghanaians received "promise payment notes" from the banks, but never received compensation. This confiscation was publicly justified as a means to create a disincentive for the flourishing black market. However, from a monetary perspective, currency confiscations have the effect of reducing the available cash in the economy, and thereby slowing the rate of inflation. After the ₵50 note confiscation, the ₵20 note was the highest cedi denomination, but had a street value of only about $0.35 (U.S.)

After the ₵50 note confiscation, fears existed that the government could also confiscate the ₵20 or even the ₵10 notes. This fear, along with inflation running at about 100% annually, started causing Ghanaian society to lose its faith in its own currency. Some transactions could only then be done in foreign currencies (although that was technically illegal), and other more routine transactions began to revert to a barter economy.

Third cedi (GHS), 2007–[edit]

Third cedi
Preceded by:
First cedi
Reason: inflation
Ratio: 1 third cedi = 10,000 second cedis
Currency of Ghana
2 July 2007 – Present
Succeeded by:

Because of the rampant inflation in the decades before the exchange the second cedi was only worth a small fraction of its original value. The goverment decided to "cut" four zeros of the currency by the switch to the third cedi. The new currency was not introduced as the third cedi but is instead officially called the Ghana Cedi in contrast to the second cedi that was officially known as the New Cedi. In the second half of 2007 both the second and third cedi was legal tender as the old currency were being gradually withdrawn. At the end of December 2007 more than 90 pro cent of all old coins and notes had been withdrawn.[2] From January 2008 old banknotes could only be exchanged at banks and was no longer legal tender.[3]

On 14 May 2010 a GH₵2 banknote was issued to meet public need for an intermediary denomination and reduce the frequency, and associated cost, of printing large volumes of the GH₵1 banknote. The introduction of the new denomination coincides with the conclusion of the year-long centenary celebrations of the birth of Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first president, and has the commemorative text “Centenary of the Birth of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah".[4]

The third Cedi has been loosing value continuously since it was introduced but in 2014 the inflation rose rapidly as the value of the third cedi fell to a fourth of its original value.[5] The fall was ended in the last quarter of 2014 as the currency stabilized due to a pending IMF bailout of Ghana.[6]


First cedi[edit]

Pesewa coins (First Cedi)

The first cedi coins were issued in denominations of 5, 10, 25, and 50 pesewas. Smaller denominations such as the ½ and 1 pesewa became obsolete.

Second cedi[edit]

Cedi coins (Second Cedi)

In 1967 coins for the second cedi were introduced in denominations of ½, 1, 2½, 5, 10, and 20 pesewas. In 1979 coins for 50 pesewas and 1 cedi were introduced. These were replaced in 1984 by smaller types alongside a new 5 cedi coin. All these early issues successively fell out of circulation due to inflation.

In 1991, 10, 20, 50, and 100 cedi coins were introduced, followed by 200 and 500 cedis in 1996. These six denominations were still in circulation till 2007. However, the 10 cedis (~0.1 U.S. cents) and 20 cedis (~0.2 U.S. cents) coins were not seen much due to their small value.[7]

Third cedi[edit]

The new coins are 1 pesewa (100 old cedi), 5 pesewas (500), 10 pesewas (1,000), 20 pesewas (2,000), 50 pesewas (5,000), and 1 cedi (10,000). By 2011 the 1 pesewa had fallen out of circulation due to inflation and is mostly kept in bank vaults.[8]


The Bank of Ghana have been issuing all Ghanaian banknotes since 1958.[9][10] Most of the Ghanaian banknotes have been changed slightly from one years issue to the next years issue in the ongoing technological fight against counterfeit money. The signature of the notes does also change when a new Governor takes over the management of the Bank of Ghana.[11] Such changes are plentiful and are not covered in the lists below.

Ghanaian pound (1958-65)[edit]

Ghanaian pound
(Issued: 1958-63)
(Legal tender: 1958-67)
Image Value Description First issued
Obverse & Reverse Obverse Reverse
10 Ghana Shillings (1958).png 10 shillings Bank of Ghana Star 1 July 1958
1 Ghana Pound (1958).png 1 pound Cocao
5 Ghana Pounds (1958).png 5 pound Cargo ships and logs
1000 Ghana Pounds (1958).png 1,000 pound Art pattern

Cedi (1965-67)[edit]

(Issued: 1965)
(Legal tender: 1965-67)
Image Value Description Date of issue
Obverse & Reverse Obverse Reverse
1 cedi (1965).jpg 1 cedi Kwame Nkrumah Bank of Ghana 19 July 1965
5 cedis (1965).jpg 5 cedis Supreme Court
10 cedis (1965).jpg 10 cedis Independence Arch
50 cedis (1965).jpg 50 cedis Seashore, Palms
100 cedis (1965).jpg 100 cedis Kumasi Central Hospital
1000 cedis (1965).jpg 1,000 cedis Black Star Bank of Ghana

New cedi (1967-2007)[edit]

1967 to 1979[edit]

New cedi - 1st series
(Issued: 1967-71)
(Legal tender: 1967-79)
Image Value Description First issued
Obverse & Reverse Obverse Reverse
1 Cedi (1967).jpg 1 cedi Cocoa Shield and sword 17 February 1967
5 cedis (1967).jpg 5 cedis Fauna carvings Fauna carvings
10 Cedi (1967).jpg 10 cedis Art projects Statuettes
New cedi - 2nd series
(Issued: 1972-78)
(Legal tender: 1972-79)
Image Value Description First issued
Obverse & Reverse Obverse Reverse
1 cedi (1973).jpg 1 cedi School girl with headphones Cocoa farmer 2 January 1973
2 cedis (1972).jpg 2 cedi Farmer Fishermen 21 June 1972
5 cedis (1973).jpg 5 cedis Market woman Larabanga mosque 2 January 1973
10 cedi (1973).jpg 10 cedis Pipe smoker Akosombo Dam

1979 to 2007[edit]

New cedi - 3rd series
(Issued: 1979-82)
(Legal tender: 1979-2007)
Image Value Description First issued
Obverse & Reverse Obverse Reverse
1 cedi (1979).jpg 1 cedi Young man Basket weaver 9 March 1979
2 cedis (1979).jpg 2 cedis School girl Field workers
5 cedis (1979).jpg 5 cedis Northerner Lumberers
10 cedis (1979).jpg 10 cedis Young woman Fishermen
20 cedis (1979).jpg 20 cedis Miner Kente weaver
50 cedis (1979).jpg 50 cedis Elderly man Cocoa farmers
New cedi - 4th series
(Issued: 1983-1996)
(Legal tender: 1983-2007)
Value Description Years Issued
Obverse Reverse
10 cedis W. O. II Larbi, Fred Otoo, E. Kwasi Nukpor Rural bank building
20 cedis Queen Mother Yaa Asentewa Miner, army officer, student, demonstrators
50 cedis Young man Workers drying grain
100 cedis Woman Loading produce
200 cedis Old man Teacher and students
500 cedis Black star, fist, and "Gye Nyame" Cocoa and miner
1000 cedis Diamonds Cocoa harvest
2,000 cedis Adomi bridge over Volta River Fishermen
5,000 cedis Coat of arms Cargo ships and logs
10,000 cedis Big six Independence arch
20,000 cedis Ephraim Amu National theater

Ghana cedi (2007-Present)[edit]

Ghana cedi
Image Value Dimensions Main Colour Description First issued
Obverse & Reverse Obverse Reverse
1 Ghana Cedi.png 1 cedi 137 × 65 mm Red The Big Six, Independence Arch Akosombo Dam 3 July 2007
2 Ghana Cedis.jpg 2 cedis 140 × 67 mm Beige Kwame Nkrumah Parliament House 14 May 2010
5 Ghana Cedis.png 5 cedis 141 × 68 mm Blue The Big Six, Independence Arch University of Ghana, The Balme Library 3 July 2007
10 Ghana Cedis.png 10 cedis 145 × 71 mm Yellow-green Bank of Ghana
20 Ghana Cedis.png 20 cedis 149 × 74 mm Purple Supreme Court
50 Ghana Cedis.png 50 cedis 153 × 77 mm Brown Christiansborg Castle
These images are to scale at 0.7 pixels per millimetre.

Exchange rate history[edit]

These table shows the historical value of one U.S. dollar in Ghanaian cedis:
Date Cedi per U.S. $ Date Cedi per U.S. $
Cedi (First cedi)
1965 0.824 1967 0.714
New cedi (Second cedi)
1970s ~1.000 (0.833 to 1.111) 1980 2.80 Bank rate (~20 Blackmarket)
1983 30.00 Bank rate (~120 Blackmarket) (Oct 83) 1984 35.00 (Mar 84); 38.50 (Aug 84); 50 (Dec 84)
1985 50 – 60 1986 90
1987 150 – 175 1988 175 – 230
1989 230 – 300 1990 300 – 345
1991 345 – 390 1992 390 – 520
1993 555 – 825 1994 825 – 1050
1995 1050 – 1450 1996 1450 – 1750
1997 1750 – 2250 1998 2250 – 2350
1999 2350 – 3550 2000 3550 – 6750
2001 6750 – 7300 2002 7300 – 8450
2003 8450 – 8850 2004 8850 – 8900
2005 8900 – 9500 2006 9500 – 9600
2007 9600 – 9300
Ghana Cedi (Third cedi)[12]
Year January 1 May 1 September 1
2008 0.930 1.005 1.155
2009 1.265 1.460 1.465
2010 1.430 1.425 1.440
2011 1.486 1.496 1.535
2012 1.639 1.855 1.932
2013 1.905 1.974 2.150
2014 2.353 2.823 3.723
The price of one US$ in GH₵
Current GHS exchange rates
Note: Rates obtained from these websites may contradict with pegged rate mentioned above

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Cowrie shells and the slave trade". British Museum. Retrieved December 20, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Don’t Give Out Change In Old notes, Coins". Modern Ghana. December 19, 2007. Retrieved December 20, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Time Out For Old Cedi Notes". Modern Ghana. December 31, 2007. Retrieved December 20, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Ghana new 2-cedi note confirmedn". Banknote News. July 23, 2010. Retrieved December 20, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Ghana Cedi at risk of sliding to 4 per Dollar, HFC says". Starrf. July 5, 2014. Retrieved December 20, 2014. 
  6. ^ "IMF bail out is to stabilize the cedi". B&FT. August 3, 2014. Retrieved December 20, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Metal cedis and pesewas - modern coins of Ghana". Retrieved December 20, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Ghana's 1 Pesewa Seldom Seen". March 22, 2011. Retrieved December 20, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Banknotes of Ghana". Bank of Ghana. Retrieved December 21, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Bank Og Ghana issued banknotes". The Banknote Museum. Retrieved December 21, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Banknot News page about Ghana". Banknote News. Retrieved December 21, 2014. 
  12. ^ "United States dollar (USD) and Ghanaian cedi (GHS) Exchange Rate History". Retrieved September 11, 2013. 

External links[edit]