The Ghanaian cedi (currency sign: GH₵; currency code: GHS) is the unit of currency of Ghana. It is the fourth historical and only current legal tender in the Republic of Ghana. One cedi is divided into one hundred pesewas (Gp).
After it gained independence Ghana separated itself from the British West African pound, which was the currency of the British colonies in the region. The new republic’s first independent currency was the Ghanaian pound (1958-1965). In 1965, Ghana decided to leave the British colonial monetary system and adopt the widely accepted decimal system. The African name Cedi (1965-1967) was introduced in place of the old British pound system. Ghana’s first President Kwame Nkrumah introduced Cedi notes and Pesewa coins in July 1965 to replace the Ghanaian pounds, shillings and pence. The cedi was equivalent to eight shillings and four pence (8s 4d) and bore the portrait of the President.
After the February 1966 military coup, the new leaders wanted to remove the face of Nkrumah from the banknotes. The “new cedi” (1967-2007) was worth 1.2 cedis which made it equal to half of a pound sterling at its introduction. After decades of high inflation devalued the new cedi, it was gradually phased out in 2007 in favor of the “Ghana cedi” at an exchange rate of 1:10,000. In 2007 the largest of the new cedi banknotes, the 20,000 note, had a value of about US$2. By removing four digits, the Ghana cedi became the highest-denominated currency unit issued in Africa. It has since lost about 75% of its value.