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Gambians await new banknotes without Jammeh’s portrait



Gambians await new banknotes without Jammeh's portrait

Gambians await new banknotes without Jammeh’s portrait

Gambia will in the coming weeks issue new bank notes that will be without the portrait of the former President Yahya Jammeh.

The former leader who was forced out of office in 2016 has his pictures all over Gambia currency banknotes.

But in an attempt to wipe out his legacy many considered unhealthy, the current government has initiated steps to replace all banknotes with his portrait.

The 200 Dalasi notes were introduced in 2015, while in 2014 Yahya Jammeh introduced the 20 Dalasi notes in green to mark 20 years as president of the Gambia.

This month the Gambia’s Central Bank confirmed plans to issue new bank notes and have them in circulation this year.

The Central Bank already got an approval to introduce new redesigned bank notes.

The aimed was to also reduce the sizes of the national currency notes to achieve efficiency and introduce new security features.

Central Bank officials say the new notes to be released have advanced security features that would make counterfeiting difficult.

The new notes will bear features considered representative of The Gambia. New features include various bird species in the country and historical sites, according to officials.

Yahya Jammeh placed his portrait on many of the banknotes.

Analysts react to new design

A former staff member of the central bank of the Gambia Momodou Sabally told Africa Feeds that Yahya Jammeh should never have had his portrait on the Gambian currency.

He narrated that “One of the costly mistake Jammeh did was when he came to power after he topple Jawara’s government, the first thing he said was how can one man picture be on our currency then he change it and a new currency were design.

I guess we all know in Africa the longer our people stay in power the crazier they become. I guess he over stay in power and think he is invincible and can rule for a billion years so he should have never and put his head on the Gambian currency.”

A previous Gambian currency with former President Jawara’s portrait. Jammeh replaced that with his portrait.

According to Sabally the government took a political move to change the currency because it’s aim was to remove Jammeh from office which happened in 2016.

When asked whether the removal of Jammeh’s head on the currency is worthy, Sabally emphasize that it is political motivated.

“We all know the coalition government’s objective was achieved in 2016 and now they took another political smart move to remove Jammeh’s head from the currency which to me is not a bad idea” he said.

For Sabally the change of the currency design is welcoming news adding that he “heard the governor said that the security features will be improved and that is a good thing because when that happen it will make it very difficult to counterfeit the currency.”

“We all know counterfeit is a problem everywhere, even the dollar is counterfeit so if the security features are improved it will help economy because the more complicated your securities features are the more difficult it will be to counterfeit a currency successfully” he echoed.

On the impact the change of currency design will cause the economy, Sabally highlighted that the changes will not have a significant impact on the Gambian economy.

Gambian president Adama Barrow is hoping to reform the country after taking over in 2016. Photo: Reuters

Gambians divided

For the APRC supporters this is a witch hunt against their supreme leader Yahya Jammeh.

Buba Sanneh who describes Barrows government as failed administration said he was not surprise with this move because he knows that they want to bury Jammeh’s history.

“We heard that the new currency design will be out soon and our leader’s head will be remove from it, this is a witch hunts, few days ago the government announced that his assets are frozen, are they telling us after 22 years this man cannot get something, that is a joke,” Sanneh said.

But for Musa Fatty the change of the new currency design is a welcoming news because Jammeh has caused a lot of atrocities in the Gambia during his tenure.

He said seeing Jammeh’s picture on the currency every time gives him a bad memory of the former president of the Gambia.

Yahya Jammeh ruled Gambia for decades and was forced into exile in 2016 after losing the presidential elections won by President Adama Barrow.




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Ghana Cedi records worst performance since 2015



Ghana Cedi records worst performance since 2015

The Ghana cedi has recorded its worst half-year performance since 2015 following a depreciation of 8.2%.

This is according to data from the Bank of Ghana interbank exchange market released for the end of June.

The local currency continues to struggle and depreciated by 8.2% as of June 29, the data said.

This represents the worst recorded by the cedi following a 26.2% depreciation, recorded four years ago.

Earlier this year, the cedi went past the ¢5 mark to a dollar after hitting a record low in terms of depreciation.

As of March, the cedi had declined to 5.55 per dollar, which was its weakest level since Bloomberg started keeping the records in 1994.

Although the local currency began appreciating again, it has still not reached the level many expected.

This year’s performance was characterized by a very sharp depreciation in the first three months.

In that period, the Bank of Ghana struggled to meet demand for the dollar, leading to a depreciation by at least 7.9%.

During the first quarter, the Central Bank also issued a $3 billion Eurobond in a bid to boost its foreign reserves.

However, the cedi’s performance in the first half of the 2019 remains the worst, after the previous three years saw a depreciation of 3.7%, 3.6% and 2.3%.

The Ghana cedi has recorded its worst half-year performance since 2015 following a depreciation of 8.2%.


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ADI gets tough on BoG over lack of credit support to private sector



ADI gets tough on BoG over lack of credit support to private sector

The Alliance for Development and Industrialization, (ADI), one of the leading think tank groups in the country, has taken a swipe at the bank of Ghana, demanding from the governor to show clearly how he is going to mandate the banks to support the private sector, and not to create a safe haven for the banks.

The bank of Ghana spent close to GHC18 billion of tax payers’ money to clean up and also providing liquidity support for some banks.

According to the ADI, after this GHC18 billion clean up exercise by the bank of Ghana, to what extend has this impacted on the economy. “The banks are not ready to support the private sector, so why should the government uses tax payers money to support the banking industry, especially banks that were technically insolvent, due to bad corporate governance and mismanagement” the statement said.

“We want the governor of Bank of Ghana, Dr Ernest Addison to unveil to us what percent of banks’ capital should go to support the private sector. In Nigeria for instance, the Central Bank of Nigeria has come out with a caveat that 50 percent of banks capital should be lend to the private sector. We want the same policy to be replicated here”, according to Francis Mensah, the Convener of ADI.

The decision by the Central Bank of Nigerian was at the back off how banks repatriate huge profits from the country to their parent companies without the much need support to the private sector.

“You cannot keep taxing the private sector while you are not committed to their agenda. You don’t set rules, for the rules to favor one party. We must replicate what the central of Nigeria is doing to grow our private sector” the statement said.

This would feed into the continental free trade agenda, since most of the companies would become more competitive on the global market.

The banking sector profitability growth soars for the first months of 2019 but has decided to tighten their credit stance to the private sector.

The latest banking report from the statutory regulator, the Bank of Ghana has revealed that profitability of the banking industry improved during the first four months of 2019 compared with the same period last year.

The industry recorded an after-tax profit of GH¢1.1 billion, representing a year-on-year growth of 38.9 percent compared with 5.8 percent growth for the same period last year. The higher growth in net profit was underpinned by higher growth of net interest income during the review period.

Surprising to note, growth in gross loans and advances slowed from 6.8 percent in April 2018 to 6.1 percent in April 2019. In nominal terms, growth in the stock of credit to the private sector comprising private enterprises and households slowed by 3.5 percent to GH¢34.0 billion in April 2019 compared to 5.5 percent annual growth in April 2018.

In real terms, private sector credit contracted by 5.4 percent in April 2019 compared with a contraction of 3.7 percent a year ago. Credit to households amounted to GH¢8.4 billion in April 2019 compared with GH¢7.2 billion in the same period last year, indicating a yearly growth of 16.4 percent. Real growth in credit to households, accordingly slowed to 6.3 percent in April 2019, compared with 28.6 percent in April 2018.

Banks profitability growth has continued to increase, which means banks are making more money in the country but have decided to squeeze the private sector in terms of credit.

Source: Ruth Aboagye

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Vodafone Foundation crowned CSR leader in Ghana



Vodafone Foundation crowned CSR leader in Ghana

Vodafone Foundation crowned CSR leader in Ghana

Vodafone Ghana has been awarded the prestigious CSR Company of the year award at the Ghana Information Technology and Telecommunications (GITTA) Awards.

The company’s Foundation was recognised for its passion in executing innovative initiatives to meet the specific needs of the communities in which its workers live and work.

Every company must stand and reflect an ideal that is intrinsic to its way of doing business. Vodafone recognises that the true test of a company is its relevance to the country in which it operates; beyond profits.

The foundation has, over the years, projected activities under the themes of Health and Education, with impactful programmes that address women, youth and children.

Under education, the company is looking to impact a total of 5,000 youth with basic and advanced skills in coding in the next five years under its National Coding programme.

The zero-rated digital education platform – Instant Schools – has received over 7-million visits on its website since its introduction in 2017.

Under health, Vodafone’s HealthFest initiative offers free medical screening, consultation and medication for deprived communities across the country. Since its launch in 2014, it has supported over 11,000 beneficiaries across all regions in Ghana. Homecoming, another health initiative, foots the hospital bills of insolvent patients due for discharge from hospitals throughout the country. Over 150 patients are discharged annually under this programme.

Moreover, in an effort to promote government’s public-private partnership agenda, Vodafone has entered into a partnership with the Ghana Statistical service and an NGO, Flowminder, to use mobile-derived customer insights to make better predictions for sustainable development. In what has come to be known as “Data for Good”, the initiative will use anonymised call data records to track population movements to make better migration, agricultural and health decisions.

The award is the latest addition to a long list of honours bestowed on the Foundation since 2009.

Commenting on the award, Dr. Joyce Aryee, Chairperson of the Vodafone Ghana Foundation said, “This is a true reflection of the concerted effort we have put in place to impact lives in Ghana. We have a duty to do good as a multinational company operating in Ghana – it is part of our ethos in all the markets where we are visible. Over the years, we have promoted initiatives that benefit society, under health and education, because we are committed to the communities in which our employees live and work. I dedicate this award to the staff of Vodafone Ghana and the Foundation for a job well done.”

Source: Vodafone Ghana

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