How Ghana’s Currency has transformed since 1957

The Ghanaian currency over the years has changed in terms of its physical look (both the notes and coins), as well as, its monetary value.

The change, many believe is partly the reason the cedis has lost its value.

Due to that, GhanaWeb sets out to look at the timeline of the currency’s transformation and its history.

Before independence, Gold Coast (now Ghana) used British West African pound, shillings and pence as the currency for British colonies, till July 1958.

Ghana began to use the cedi and pesewas in the early 1965, when Ghana left the British colonial monetary system.

Ghana’s first president, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah introduced the cedi and pesewas in July 1965 to take the place of the pounds, shillings, and pence. Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s portrait was on the newly introduced cedi.

The name ‘cedi’ was derived from the word ‘sedie’ meaning a cowrie. Cowries were used as currencies in the 19th century, and was also known as shell money.

The second cedi was ‘edited’ during the 1966 military coup; where the new military government decided to remove Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s portrait from the banknotes after they overthrew the CPP government. They called it the New Cedi and it was introduced in 1967, but its value depreciated.

The ‘third cedi’ now called the ‘Ghana cedi’ was introduced by the Kufuor government on July 1, 2007, because of inflation. The Ghana cedi became the highest-dominated currency unit issued in Africa but has since lost about 80 percent of its value.

British West African pounds, and shillings

The ‘old Ghana cedi’




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