An Alternative To Devaluation
The vicious cycle of depreciation of the Ghana Cedis has urged many people in business and others concerned with the development of the state to call for a devaluation of the Ghanaian currency
The vicious cycle of depreciation of the Ghana Cedis has urged many people in business and others concerned with the development of the state to call for a devaluation of the Ghanaian currency. Devaluation is concerned with the decrease in a currency’s value with respect to other currencies. A currency is devalued when it loses value relative to other currencies in the foreign exchange market. It is a monetary policy activity that is undertaken by a government and its central bank to correct its exchange rates problems.
Such a call is not out of place as the value of the currency keeps depreciating frequently. There has been media debates by the major political parties about who manages the currency better. This fight will not earn the state the needed answers it seeks to address its exchange rate problems.
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Many individuals with knowledge in Economics and Finance had offered their opinions as to how to resolve this economic impasse. The arguments advanced in favour of a devaluation are plausible as they seem to make a short term solution. It is believed that devaluation reduces the price of a country’s domestic output. This is because inputs in the production process will be less expensive as the devalued currency will assume a competitive value. This is beneficial to the export volumes of the state because the exports of the state will increase forcefully. Exports become more competitive in the global market and increasing the national income of the state.
In the short term, devaluation seems the better option to managing a county’s currency in exchange rate crisis. The lag of time for most economic policies to practically take effect is a problem to deal with. The long term effect is that, the country’s cost of imports will increase such that domestic consumers are less likely to buy them and strengthening domestic businesses. Depreciation of a currency is not only a consequent of poor management of it, it also occurs as a result of the pursuit of expansionary monetary policies. The supply of more currencies in the economy will help expand businesses which will increase imports and ultimately affect the exchange rate.
The benefits of devaluation only seem to be short term solutions as an import dependent economy like Ghana with huge taste for foreign goods will suffer the price hikes of imports due to devaluation of its currency. Devaluation will only be beneficial in both the short and long terms if a country is export dependent as it seeks to strengthen the value of the currency and export commodities become relatively competitive.
Countries that often experience balance of payments deficits as a result of excessive imports and demand for foreign goods may not have to embark on devaluation as the terminal solution to solving their exchange rate crisis.
An alternative to devaluation for Ghana is altering the imports of the state. Import substitution industrialisation needs to be embarked on through the establishment of factories for the agricultural and manufacturing sectors.
The imports of rice, fish, meat, chicken, wheat and other commodities that can be produced locally need to be halved or prohibited. There is the need to change the import components of our trade and begin a serious internal production of some of the foreign produce with export-led growth strategies. There is the need for the state to support home-grown agricultural produce that are usually imported. The setting up of more state farms to produce rice, wheat, tomatoes etc to begin a more vigorous manufacturing activities is desirable. The import volumes of the state have great impact on the exchange rate determination.
There is a huge surplus of labour in the agricultural sector. There are also arable lands existing in many parts of the country which can be used for this purpose. More market-oriented growth strategies need to be pursued and relegate the traditional forms of dealing with the international world market.
While changing the import components of the state for a favourable terms of trade, there is also the requirement to expand the export commodities of the state that will lead to an increase in foreign exchange. Export-led growth strategies that will attract transnational corporations to partake in the development agenda of the state for it to gain access to the global market are to be rolled out. These strategies seem to offer long lasting solutions to the ever worsening rate of exchange of the state that cause political debates in the media.
An import-dependent economy like Ghana will in no time experience a reverse of the exchange rate situation after devaluation. The reason is that the long term effect of devaluation will be felt from the import of foreign goods. The depreciation of the currency must to be tackled more cautiously and devaluation does not appear a better alternative. Let’s change the import components of our trade by substituting it with local produce and increase export to earn more.
Commentator….Emmanuel Kwabena Wucharey
Intuition can reduce corruption, By Felix Kunda
The country, Zambia at the moment has very few opinion leaders who can be inspirational to the young generation. All the famous and important personalities who held important offices are either facing corruption charges, convicted, or under investigation by the Anti-Corruption Commission.
Going by the media reports, and the court cases that are going on, there is rampant corruption in Zambia at every level in government, the private sector, and perhaps even in Non-Governmental Organisations. The country is in an intensive care, sick with corruption, and there is a need for a vaccine to end this pandemic.
To confirm the prevailing problem, the Drug Enforcement Commission announced that it seized 41 bank accounts from various commercial banks worth 174 million Kwacha and 19 million United States Dollars. These are huge sums of money, that were meant to uplift the living standard of the 80 percent of poor people in Zambia.
As if this is not nauseating enough, Anti-Corruption Commission Head of Corporate Communications Timothy Moono informed the nation that by the end of November 2022, the commission had a total of 1,264 cases under investigation, and out of these 284 cases were concluded.
And 1973 to 1978 Bahati Constituency Member of parliament under the United Independence Party (UNIP) former Member of Parliament Honourable Valentine Kayope said top civil servants and political leaders who are involved in corruption luck vision of why they are occupying such important positions in government.
Honourable Kayope who also served the same constituency from 1996 to 2001 under the Movement for multi-party democracy (MMD) said leadership is a gift from God, and immediately leaders convince themselves that they are in those position as their own efforts derails them on their responsibilities of serving the people.
Mr. Kayope who also served as Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister under Dr. Frederick Chiluba’s government said those in top positions are there to serve the poor people and not to serve themselves. He said the people that those leaders are serving constantly observe their leaders and immediately they notice selfishness among the leaders, they are the ones that blow the whistles.
He said, leadership is about transparent and accountability, immediately that is lost, people will start speculating and these are the people that will report to institution because it is their resources being abused. “Amenso yamukundilwa yengi,” he said. The resources are for the Zambians and not the leadership or top civil servants.
Needless to say that the consequences of those involved in these corrupt practices are depressing and stressing, and human beings can avoid corruption by using intuition. Intuition are extra-ordinary powers of the mind that is readily available and helps in making difficult decisions.
According to Laura Day in her book Practical Intuition, “intuition is a capacity you are born with as a human being, like the capacity for language or thinking or appreciating music. Intuition is not a power one acquires. It is an integral part of every human mental, emotional, and psychical process.
You use your intuition in practical reasoned decisions you make every day, from choices such as which bus to use, as to what to eat for supper, when to visit the village, or who to marry. Most people use intuition unconsciously every day, while some have learned to use it with precision and accuracy.
It is therefore true and accurate that all the Zambian individual who are currently appearing in court for corruption, were warned by their intuition not to participate in corrupt practices. Intuition is always there with us as human beings, which others call a small voice within ourselves. However humans tend to ignore the early warnings through intuition, simply because of selfishness.
For all those in leadership and the top civil servants, Intuition is not limited by space and time, and one can always rely on an intuition in making a difficulty decision. Intuition can protect you from a bribe or participating in corrupt practices.
World Down Syndrome Day: As the search for inclusion continues by Adaoha Ugo-Ngadi
Every year, as World Down Syndrome Day is commemorated, I find myself deep in introspection, reflecting on those who, by a unique design of nature, is born to a world where their difference has too often been made a barrier to inclusion and acceptance. Hundreds of thousands of children with Down Syndrome are stigmatized, and denied access to education, healthcare, and full social integration. I reflect on opportunities lost to their exclusion, a blight on our collective humanity.
World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD), commemorated on March 21, is a global awareness day that the United Nations has officially observed since 2012. It was selected to signify the uniqueness of the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome which causes Down syndrome.
I am glad that the theme for this year’s commemoration is ‘We Decide’, which focuses on the right of people with Down Syndrome to participate. I strongly believe this is apt. It reinforces the call for all of society to include and fully involve those living with Down Syndrome.
I have often wondered how much more progress we would have had the world over if people who are differently abled were not left out of the course of building society, but integrated to express their natural gifts.
All across the globe, there is an abundance of documented stories of exclusion, abuse, and displacement. In parts of Africa, people living with Down Syndrome are considered taboo over superstitious beliefs that they are not normal. This shatters the soul. Oh, how the hold of ignorance has deprived our people of the capacity to appreciate and welcome nature’s unique design!
Given the level of ignorance and misinformation around Down Syndrome, it is important that a concerted effort must be made to embark on widespread enlightenment campaigns, orientation, and education in multiple domains.
Schools, medical institutions, religious institutions, cultural institutions, and political institutions must all be included. We must work hard to open the eyes of people to the true facts about Down Syndrome, leading them to a new level of enlightenment and acceptance.
To truly build a society that is inclusive of everyone, especially those who are different and special, we must empower all the people with knowledge and insights into the unique attributes of these oft-marginalized set of people. They must be educated to accept and welcome them into the heart of society, becoming their brothers and sisters indeed.
But more importantly, mankind must quickly appreciate that the best approach to deal with the vulnerable is to sufficiently learn or perfect how to connect with them. This is the way of humanity. This is the way of progress.
For governments across the world, clear policies and laws must be passed to integrate, support and empower people with Down Syndrome. Their fate must not be left to the voluntary goodwill of the people. Their rights must be codified and enforced. They must not be subject to discrimination, stigmatization, and exclusion. Their lives are valuable. Their lives are priceless.
This fight is for all of us. We must treat it as a sacred responsibility. Every person living with Down Syndrome must cease to have a target on their back, and instead become a normal part of the global family. We must decide this today!
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