Paper Money

Bank of Ghana withdrawing two low-denomination notes

The Bank of Ghana will be withdrawing its 1- and 2-cedi bank notes while keeping in circulation the coins with the same denominations, reports say.

Images courtesy of the Bank of Ghana.

The Bank of Ghana will be withdrawing its 1- and 2-cedi bank notes while keeping the coins with the same denominations in circulation, according to posts on the websites Ghana Web and Happy Ghana in late September.

The online journals published the contents of an interview with a financial expert, Owusu Agyebeng, who said there was no cause for alarm and urged the public to have confidence in the coins, reassuring readers that the “coins are legal tenders that everyone must accept.” One cedi is currently worth about 16 U.S. cents.

The governor of the Bank of Ghana, Ernest Addison, said the decision to stop printing the notes is to save money. He added that both of the low-denomination notes would be phased out over time because they are not cost-effective in terms of printing cost. He also said that when the notes circulate widely, they come back so torn and soiled that it is very difficult for currency processing machines to process them. The bank stated that it spent 337.5 million cedis or about $55.5 million to print currency in 2020.

The current iteration of the cedi is Ghana’s fourth since the country gained independence from Britain in 1957. Its first currency was the pound. The first cedi denominations were introduced in 1965.

The Bank of Ghana says the name is derived from the word “sedie” meaning cowrie, the popular shell money that circulated in the area as late as the start of the 20th century.

The Ghanaian currency system at present consists of 1-, 2-, 5-, 10-, 20-, 50-, 100-, and 200-cedi bank notes, and 1-, 5-, 10-, 20-, and 50-pesewa coins, and 1- and 2-cedi coins.

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