Cost of Living and Money in Ghana

I am sad to tell you that Ben’s Internet cafe was down last week, so there is no letter. In its place I am writing about Ghanaian money and their cost of living.

Ghana faces1
Photo by Philippe J. Kradolfer. “Ghana Everyday Life.”

Ghanaian Money:

The word cedi is the Fante word for cowry shell, which were formerly used as currency in what is now Ghana. The porcelain-like shells came to West Africa, beginning in the 14th century through trade with Arab merchants. The first modern coins exclusively used at the Gold Coast were produced in 1796 but cowries were used alongside coins and gold dust as currency until 1901. This currency is only used in Ghana and is difficult to exchange in the USA. Here are a few examples of the many coins and paper bills:

Ein-Cedi-Münze                            20_pesewas_(new_cedi)

             1 Cedi                                                   20 Pesewas                                         1_Ghana_Cedi                           2_Ghana_Cedis

                1 Cedi Paper                                        2 Cedi Paper

Exchange Rate:

1 USD = ¢3.89 GHS

Cost Comparison:

Milk, 1 gallon, regular                    $9.05

Loaf of Bread                                    $1.82

Eggs, 1 dozen                                    $2.32

Cheese, 1 pound                              $3.90

Coke/Pepsi, 0.33 liter bottle        $1.49

Sources: Wikipedia,,and Philippe J. Kradolfer “Ghana Everyday Life”

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