One can only sigh at the economic superstition on display in Ghana.
A rising U.S. dollar has stirred many pastors here into nightly prayers for their fallen currency to rise again.
“I command the resurrection of the cedi! In the name of Jesus!” preached evangelist Nicholas Duncan-Williams of a megachurch called Action Chapel, recently. Then he addressed Satan: “Take your hands off the central bank!”
African countries are having a devil of a year, due in large part to the slump in their currencies. From Gambia to Zambia, sharp drops against the U.S. dollar are making imported goods more expensive, forcing shopkeepers to raise prices, slowing business at many of Africa’s gleaming new shopping malls, car dealerships and fast-food restaurants.
In Ghana, the cedi lost 11% against the dollar in the first two months of 2014. Some radio personalities blamed the free fall on the devil, others on mythical dwarves who practice witchcraft in the forest.
“These dwarfs, the black magic is what has made the cedi lose value,” Anita Desooso, a political organizer for the ruling National Democratic Congress told private radio station Adom FM recently.
Economists blame the currency weakness on more worldly reasons, such as the U.S. Federal Reserve’s decision to trim its bond-buying program. That has helped drive up the dollar against currencies globally.
. . .
… of the $19 billion in foreign direct investment Ghana has attracted in the past five years, very little has gone into new manufacturing or agriculture. Most has gone to build up hotels, malls or car dealerships.
In busier times, used-car salesman Prosper Gbadam often sold two sports-utility vehicles a week. Now, he spends his evenings in a church, praying for the cedi to rise.
He hasn’t closed a deal all month.
There’s more at the link (which may expire or disappear behind a paywall).
Hey! I’m a retired pastor. For a suitably sizeable collection (in gold, of course) I’ll put up video on YouTube of me exorcising the entire Federal Reserve Board of Governors! Double the collection and I’ll throw in Ben Bernanke and Jon Corzine as well!