Help keep cedi clean — Bank of Ghana
The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has called for concerted efforts to help keep the cedi banknotes clean for them to last longer.
It said mishandling of the banknotes was a bad practice that led to a quicker defacing and spoilage of the notes, with implications on cost to the bank and the country as a whole.
The practice was also unpatriotic, as it amounted to disrespect for the national currency, the Director of Currency at the central bank, Dominic Owusu, told journalists today.
Speaking about the history of the local currency, the cedi and pesewas in an interaction with the media in Accra, Mr Owusu said the currency was a key symbol of nationhood and efforts to protect its integrity must be prioritised by all.
“If the currency is not handled well, it affects the image of the country,” he said.
That, he said, informed the decision by the bank to institute a clean note policy under which it educated the public on the need to keep the currency clean.
The interaction with the media was also to mark the Ghana Month of March, which has been used to promote everything Ghanaian, including food, music, tourist sites and the sense of belonging.
Mr Owusu said, “As we celebrate the Ghana Month, I want to reinforce the fact that we must make it a point to always keep the integrity of our currency by handling them properly”.
Message to tourists
The Director of Currency noted that the state of the cedi banknotes was a significant message about the country and its people to tourists and the outside world.
As one of the first things that tourists come into contact with when they enter the country, Mr Owusu said worn out and defaced notes could send bad signals to tourists that the country was dirty and unkempt.
That, he said, also explained why the public must take keen interest in keeping the notes clean.
The Director of Currency explained that it was also important to preserve the notes to help make it easier for people to differentiate fake ones from the genuine ones.
“When banknotes are worn out, it is not even possible to distinguish between a genuine note and a counterfeit note.
That, he said, explained why the bank had a policy of withdrawing worn out notes from circulation to help make it easier for genuine ones to be detected.
He, however, added that the central bank had instituted adequate measures to address counterfeiting.
In that regard, Mr Owusu also warned the general public to desist from using cedi banknotes as bouquets and hampers when gifting people.
He said the currency was issued to be used as a medium of exchange for the purchase of goods and services.
Consequently, he said any other use of the currency was illegal and subject to prosecution.
He said the bank had noticed that some people were using the cedi notes as bouquets and hampers as gifts during weddings, birthdays and other celebration, a practice he said must be stopped.
He said beyond being illegal, such acts made it easier for the notes to spoil or get defaced.
Today’s cedi notes and pesewa coins were first issued into circulation on July 19, 1965.
They replaced the Ghana pounds, shillings and pence which were then the medium of exchange.
Since then, the currency has gone through various reforms, including a redenomination in 2007 when four zeros were knocked off.