The Bank of Ghana was reported yesterday, to have received the first tranche of $800 million of this year’s cocoa syndicated loan which the Ghana Cocoa Board signed last month with its international lenders.
In all, COCOBOD signed a $1.8 billion loan agreement for the 2015/2016 cocoa purchases which began last Friday.
With the arrival of the $800 million, the Bank of Ghana would have to wait patiently for the additional $1 billion final drawdown to complete the total amount expected from the lenders.
The drawdown of the first tranche of the loan must be a huge relief, particularly for the Bank of Ghana and managers of the economy, primarily because of the impact it is likely to have on the local economy.
The economy has been hit hard throughout the year, because of shortage of hard currency inflows and that has affected the cedis at different points.
The Bank of Ghana has, on many occasions, pumped hard currency into the local economy to shore up the cedi, but anytime there is a hint of shortage, the economy reacts to it negatively.
With the drawdown of the syndicated loan, the Times believes that the hard currency inflow would greatly strengthen the local currency.
We believe that just as it did in the first half of the year, when the currency declined sharply, but rallied strongly in recent weeks, so would the arrival of the syndicated loan spur it on to rally against the major currencies.
Frankly, this year has been a very difficult year for the economy and the managers would be the first to admit it.
As we approach the end of the year, we must not forget that every nation, especially the emerging economies, are facing economic challenges borne out of the slump in growth rates, and the Ghanaian situation is not different.
We all must, therefore, have confidence and desist from speculating and peddling doom for the local economy.
Without confidence, any nation, whether small or big, can easily buckle and throw the economy out of control.
We have the confidence that with the arrival of the syndicated loan, the cedi would respond positively, thus halting its decline when more foreign exchange is pumped into the economy to facilitate economic activities as we enter the last quarter and the end of the year.
This, indeed, is good news.