Central banks across the West African sub-region have met to build capacity in fighting fake currency circulation.
The circulation of counterfeit notes has been a major challenge for West African countries as fake notes are transited every year, running into millions of dollars.
Speaking to Citi Business News at the workshop organized in Accra on Banknote and Currency Management, the Director of the West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM), Mr Chris Kedze stated that it is important for central banks to confront the situation head on.
The workshop, which was organized in collaboration with the Bank of Ghana(BoG) saw participants from the West African sub-region.
Mr Kedze pointed out that the effect of fake notes is devastating to African countries, slowing down economic growth.
Outlining how dangerous counterfeit notes have derailed economies in the West African region, Mr Kedze stated that the trade has been lucrative for criminals across the region.
“Counterfeiting is as old as main currency was brought into circulation. As soon as banknotes and currencies are issued, there are people who are out there who want to beat the system by making counterfeit so the issue is not how wide it is, we know that it exists so we must try as much as possible to get people educated so that that issue can be minimized,” he appealed.
He stated that there are always some people who would want to take advantage of ordinary people to circulate fake currencies.
“People are aware that once a central bank issues a banknote or currency there are people out there who are ready to counterfeit it. We must work to counteract it,” he stressed adding that commercial banks must join in the fight.
Touching on the topic, Mr Kedze stated that currency management is one of the critical functions in central banks operations.
“Indeed the integrity of a currency and its efficient supply are clear indicators of a well-functioning central bank. In the eyes of the people, this fundamental function of the central bank should be effective, efficient and present no issues that may hurt the reputation of a country,” he noted.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr Abdul-Nashiru Issahaku stated that currency management is a critical aspect of the central bank’s function.