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Fact Check: Minister Samuel Tweah Is Incorrect. Liberia Does Not Have the Most Stable Exchange Rate in West Africa

Monrovia – Liberia’s Finance and Development Planning Minister, Mr. Samuel D. Tweah, recently claimed that Liberia has the most stable exchange rate in the region although he didn’t say whether it was the West Africa sub-region or the Mano River region — which comprises of Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Ivory Coast.


Report By: Varney Kelvin Sirleaf, Local Voice Liberia Fact Checker


Mr. Tweah made the claim when he was responding to a question about Liberia’s inflation situation as guest speaker at a popular intellectual center in central Monrovia. LocalVoicesLiberia has fact checked the claim made by Minister Tweah.

The World Bank annual exchange rate report for all countries in the world only shows data from 1960 to 2020. This means the World Bank current published data lacks specific information about exchange rates for African countries in 2021. So, we relied on data published by various West African countries’ central banks to fact check the claim.

Nigeria

Data published by Trading Economics, which provides information for 196 countries including forecasts for more than 20 million economic indicators, exchange rates, stock market indexes, and commodity prices, show that the exchange rate in Nigeria became stable by late June 2021 which was at 411 Naira to US$1.

Additionally, the Central Bank of Nigeria exchange rate shows that in late June 2021, it was at 410.1 Naira to US$1 while the exchange rate on August 31 was 410.32 Naira to US$1.

Ghana

The Bank of Ghana data shows that interbank foreign exchange rate was at 5.74 Cedi to US$1 on June 1 and by August 31 it was at 5.85 Cedis to US$1.

Trading Economy graph shows that the country has experienced slight daily instability in its exchange rate. By the end of June 2021, 5.76 Ghana Cedis was to US$1 and it moved to 5.96 Cedis to US$1 by August 20.

Gambia

In Gambia, the Central Bank statics published on its website show that the exchange rate in late August was at 51.17 Dalasi to US$1 and later moved to 51.2 Dalasi to US$1 on September 1. Gambia has also seen fluctuation in its exchange rate, moving rom 50.25 Dalasi to US$1 in early June to 51.15 Dalasi to US$1 on September 1, 2021.

Sierra Leone

Liberia’s next-door neighbor, Sierra Leone had an exchange rate of 10,130.41 Leones to US$1 and by August 20, the rate was 10,225.17 Leones to US$1, according the country’s central bank.

Cape Verde

Meanwhile, the island nation of Cape Verde in early June this year had an exchange rate of 90.12 Escudo to US$1, according to Trading Economics. But on August 31, the exchange rate increased to 93.38 Escudo to US$1

Francophone West African Countries

The data made available by the Central Bank of West African States located in Dakar Senegal, which comprises of eight French-speaking countries of West Africa, show that the exchange rate of foreign currency to the CFA Franc on August 31 was 548 CFA to US$1. This is a significant increased from the 529 CFA to US$1 in early June.

Guinea, the only West African French speaking country which is not a member of the Central Bank of West African States for Francophone countries, in early June had its exchange rate at 9,745 Guinea Franc to US$1. The rate is currently at 9,758 Guinea Franc to US$1.


Source: Central Bank of West African States


In the Liberia, the Central Bank of Liberia data reveal that daily exchange rate from early July was at L$170 to USD$1 and saw an increment to 171.06 to US$1 on August 31. However, the exchange rate on the market is L$172 to US$1.

Conclusion


Our research shows that Liberia exchange rate was at 170.00 to US$1 on June 4 but the country’s strength in battling the United States Dollar witness continuous fluctuation up to August 23 when it hit 171.01, according to the Central Bank of Liberia.

The Bank of Ghana data shows that exchange rate has seen a bit of stability more than what Liberia has been experiencing. The Bank’s data show that in early June exchange rate was at 5.74 Cedi to US$1 and in late August at 5.85 Cedi to the US$1. This is just 0.11 Cedis inflation in the exchange rate. Our research also show that Nigeria saw a stable exchange rate between June and August 2021 with the Central Bank of Nigeria data showing that exchange rate in early June was at 410.1 Naira to US$1 and on August 30th at 410.3 Naira to US$1. This means, there was an increment of 0.2 Naira in the exchange rate.

For Liberia, there was an increment of L$1.06 between the month of June to August 2021 – from $170 to L$171.01 to US$1, according to the CBL.

Based on Information proffered above, both Ghana and Nigeria experienced a more stable exchange rate against the US dollar than Liberia in the last three months. Therefore, the claim made by Mr. Samuel Tweah, Minister of Finance and Development Planning, is incorrect.


You may contact us to fact check any claim or information relative to Liberia. Contact us on:
Factcheck.localvoicesliberia@gmail.com
 or  WhatsApp: +231880986778



 

Local Voices Liberia is a network of dedicated Liberian journalists based in the 15 counties working to lift the development concerns and progress of rural communities.

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