Letter to the Cedi; my contribution to help make you strong – The Herald Ghana

By Abdul Razak Bawa

Dear Cedi,

Accept my empathy on your recent performance, as you continue to be battered by your counterparts, especially the United States Doallars.

If it was a boxing match, this will be the perfect time to throw in the towel and declare the dollar of winning by a technical knockout.

Cedi, in your chequered history, this is not the first time, you have had to endure the humiliation of playing catch up with your counterparts; the dollar, Euro and Pounds Sterling, but this time has been different, as the rate at which you are depreciating is unprecedented.

Cedi, I am sure you remember what the then running mate of candidate Akufo-Addo, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, said about you in one of his many lectures that; when the fundamentals are weak, the exchange rate will expose you. This statement was true yesterday, it is true today and will be the truth tomorrow, until something drastic is done, starting now.

Cedi, you have been in and out of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) since February and anytime you had to go back to the hospital, you are in a worse shape than you were first admitted.

The reason for this unfortunate situation is very obvious to all of us; we give you the wrong medicine, hoping for a miracle. You know we are a people faith.

Cedi, over the years, we have applied cosmetic and knee jerk solutions anytime you take a beaten from your major trading partners. As it is being done today, so will it be done tomorrow, nothing will change, if we don’t change what we keep doing.

Insanity, it is said, is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. We keep going in circles, hoping that, nature will hear our plea.

Cedi, we are a people, who pray for a wife, and when we are given, we go back and pray that God blesses us in order for us to have conjugal bliss. We put the Cart before the horse always.

Cedi, every Tom, Dick and Harry in this country, know what we need to do in order to save you from this embarrassing ritual.  But we all behave like Ostriches. As for our leaders, you know, they are full of talk and no action.

Cedi, on my part as an individual, I have resolved to do my part in ensuring that you are no longer the joke among your trading partners and that, you will take your right of place, with your pride restored.

How do I intend to do that, from today hence, as much as possible, anything I buy, I am going to give first priority to made in Ghana goods.

In order for us to get out of the hole, we always have find ourselves in, we should begin to eat what we grow, and grow what we eat.

Everything we import into the country, they is a local substitute for it, except for a few. So starting today, I pledge to use everything local, except there is none.

As an individual and a proud Ghanaian, I believe that is the only to strengthen you to also become a store of value.

Cedi, it is sad that we have developed a penchant for foreign products. A Ghanaian who walks into a shop to buy groceries, will prefer to settle for imported goods rather than the ones that are manufactured locally.

Cedi, the number one destination for every Ghanaian who wishes to import anything into the country is China, yet that country, did not get to where it is today by accident, the leaders and the led made a conscious effort to change the narrative and today, China is a force to reckon with in the comity of nations.

We cannot get out of our current predicament by talking, we rather action, if we are to bring relief to our people.

Cedi, the president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, address the nation on Sunday, October 29, to announce measures his government is taking to stop your free fall, said a lot and nothing at the same time. As a Ghanaian, who is concerned about your ranking in the world among your peers, I was expecting the president, to lead by example.   

I was expecting to hear the president say, henceforth, my household, will not use any product, except made in Ghana product. He will go on to appeal to his appointees to do so, by way of helping to reduce the demand for the dollar, because really apart from few people who hold the dollar as store of value, the bulk of demand for it, is for import.

Leaders in sane climes, call their people to in the spirit of patriotism put their countries first, in Ghana, it is the reverse.

Cedi, I know we have all failed you, our penchant for foreign goods, has exposed you so badly and you are subjected to all manner of insults and description. But, if history has thought us anything, it is that an individual or group of persons, will come change the paradigm and take their nations along.

Cedi, rice, cooking oil, flour, etc are among the product that requires a lot of dollars to import and yet all these can equally be sourced locally.

A lot of local rice is in the market now, they are available in our markets and shops, and they are perfumed as the ones imported.

I will wish that, this Christmas, organizations, both private and public, as well as individuals, that desire to buy rice and share should buy local rice, to boost their capacities to be able to improve and compete favourably with any imported rice.

For oil, we have Nkwatenwa or Kubenwa, Adwengo and Nkuto. These were the oils our forebears lived on, it was healthy and natural, until our taste bud misled us. The current situation is an opportunity for us to go back to the basics.

For soap, the commonest was Alata Samina. It lathers better than any soap you can find on the market. it cleans the body well and cures some common skin diseases. But like all our local product, we look down on Alata Samina, and we have a notion that, it is meant for the poor, because It is cheap.

 It is time to eat our way back, drink our way back, wear our way back, into stability. For me I have started, that is my little contribution to saving the Cedi.

The road ahead might be uncertain, but the end for me is clear.

Email: [email protected]

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