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World’s worst performing currency, Cedi, in over 35% fall amidst choking debt crisis

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Ghana’s economic woes has deepened as the country’s currency has dropped for 15 straight weeks to 36.3% this year.

The latest fall of the Cedi falls makes it the world’s worst-performing currency after Sri Lanka’s rupee.

According to a report by Bloomberg, the fall in the currency is due to demand forex as it overtook supplies during a period when high debts and low investor confidence have made it impossible for Ghana to access the international capital market for borrowing.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in a statement two months ago authorized the Finance Minister to begin discussion with the International Monetary Fund following a telephone conversation between the President and the IMF Managing Director, Miss Kristalina Georgieva.

The minster had earlier claimed that the West African country is committed to managing its debt without assistance from the IMF.

Ghana’s rapid economic growth was halted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the March 2020 lockdown, and a sharp decline in commodity exports. The economy had grown at an average of 7 percent in 2017-19, before experiencing a sharp contraction in the second and third quarters of 2020.

Ghana’s currency has been on a free fall like its West African neighbour, Nigeria whose Naira has weakened greatly in exchange to the dollar, and currently exchanges for 710 to one dollar at the parallel market.

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Petrol prices fall in South Africa, Libya but cost of diesel keeps flying

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Prices of petrol have fallen in South Africa and Libya but such cannot be said of diesel.

The government of government on Monday announced that the petrol pump price would decrease by up to 1.02 Rand a litre but the price of diesel would increase by up to 15 cents a litre from October 5.

In Sudan also, petrol prices seem to be obeying the law of gravity as the energy ministry said in a statement on Tuesday that price had fallen from 700 Sudanese pounds to 522 pounds ($0.9235) per litre.

There has been a fall in global oil prices recently which has caused a fall in domestic inflation to 7.6% in August in South Africa.

The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine has had its knock-on effects on oil prices globally. Prices of diesel have almost tripled in most African countries.

In Nigeria for instance, industries like aviationtelecom operators have all struggled with the situation which has disrupted business operations.

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Zambia sets for first meeting with creditors amidst growing fiscal challenges

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The finance ministry in Zambia said it is set for its first meeting with its creditors as the South African country struggles to escape its current financial mess.

The finance minister, Situmbeko Musokotwane made the revelation on Monday at a public meeting to discuss the country’s annual budget.

Musokotwane said at a budget speech last week Zambia’s external public debt reached $14.87 billion at the end of June 2022.

“Have we started negotiations with creditors? Not yet but right now we have preparations for the first meeting,” Musokotwane said in response to a question.

Zambia’s creditors are mainly Chinese lenders and bondholders.

The Southern African country that opted to bow out of a $42.5 million Eurobond repayment in 2020,  is seeking $8.4 billion of debt relief from 2022 to 2025.

Zambia is one of the African countries currently facing economic woes. The country has been in negotiation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for aid amidst the crisis.

The country was struggling with a debt burden of almost $32 billion, around 120% of its gross domestic product.

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