February saw a spark in conversations on the Ahaspora listserv about the decline of the Ghanaian Cedi against the US Dollar.

As of February 28, 2019, the Ghanaian Cedi was pegged at an alarming GhC 5.54 against 1USD (fast-forward to June 2019, we are still at 5.4…)… This had several Ahasporans lamenting about how the decline of the Cedi is affecting them: Sentiments from members included “Real talk – Every month I pay student loans and my credit card in the US. As a result, I change cedis to dollars EVERY month!… My body may be in Ghana, but I never really left the States…”

“I do some of my business in Dollars so although agreements stay the same, costs are increased on my side as I have to change from Ghana Cedis to Dollars or pay equivalent in Cedis.”

Although there was rigorous discussion that the decline of the Ghana Cedi is an issue of leadership, or lack thereof, there was consensus that the economy is weak at its base as we do not produce enough for export which would bring the inflow of foreign currency, ultimately making us open to exchange rate fluctuations.

Given that Ahaspora is a solutions-driven community, members agreed that we would demonstrate that we are “Citizens and not Spectators” and as such, contribute our little quote to being the Change we want to see…

Ahaspora has therefore embarked on an #IChooseMadeInGhana campaign which seeks to not only have people patronize, but also promote the consumption of locally made goods and services. To make this effort attractive and bring others on board, the goal is to have members post their purchases and opinions about “Made in Ghana” items and services.

March Happy Hour at the Gold Coast Restaurant was therefore geared towards initiating this campaign, with a Wear Ghana event and the enstoolment of an Ohene and Ohemmaa for the most authentic, good looking, ‘Wear Ghana’ Ahasporans.

Following the event, there was media recognition with a blog post by Triple A Network, which was featured by ghanaweb.com and joyfmonline.com. To keep this initiative running, a committee has also been set up to ensure that Ahaspora continues to promote locally made goods and services.

It has been a few months since the conversation in February; while the GhanaCedi is now fairly stable, high exchange rates still remain… Ahaspora therefore continues to call for the patronage of locally produced goods, and entreats Government to keep working on improving Ghana’s fiscal space.