The Central Bank of Ghana traces its roots to the Bank of the Gold Coast (BCG), where it was nurtured. As soon as local politicians and economists saw political independence in sight in the mid 1950’s the agitation for a central bank was revived. It was argued that a central bank was one institution which would give true meaning to political independence. It may be recalled that way back in 1947 some leading politicians had called for the establishment of a national bank with central bank functions to act as banker to government and to cater for the indigenous sector of the economy.
Proposals of the advocates for a central bank were accepted and in early 1955 another Select Committee was set up by the Government to take a new look at the Trevor Report and prepare the grounds for the establishment of a central bank in Ghana. Fortunately, the BGC had already set the stage for central banking: all that was needed was specially trained personnel in central banking and suitable accommodation for the bank to take off.
By the end of 1956, all was set for the establishment of the Bank of Ghana. A new and modern five-storey building had been put up on the High Street, adjacent to the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) to house both the Bank of Ghana and the Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB).
The Establishment of Bank of Ghana, 1957
On the 4th March 1957, just two days before the declaration of political independence, the Bank of Ghana was formally established by the Bank of Ghana Ordinance (No. 34) of 1957, passed by the British Parliament. Frantic preparations then began to put in place an organisational structure for the new central bank. By the middle of July 1957, all was set for the official commissioning of the new Head Office of the Bank on the High Street.
In his opening address at the end of July 1957, the then Leader of Government Business (Prime Minister) stated with pleasure that the occasion marked the beginning of independent monetary administration in the newly independent Ghana – a cherished dream had at long last become a reality. The Leader of Government Business had put the aspiration of the country in establishing the central bank as follows: “In the modern world a central bank plays a very important and decisive role in the life of a country. It is essential to our own independence that we have a government-owned bank and that the central bank follows a policy designed to secure our economic independence and to further the general development of our country.”
The principal objects of the new central bank, as enshrined in the 1957 Ordinance, were “to issue and redeem bank notes and coins: to keep and use reserves and to influence the credit situation with a view to maintaining monetary stability in Ghana and the external value of the Ghana pound; and to act as banker and financial adviser to the Government.
The opening ceremony paved the way for the Bank to commence formal banking operations on 1st August 1957, when the Banking Department opened for business. The Issue Department did not commence operations until July 1958.
The Bank of Ghana has since 1957 undergone various legislative changes. The Bank of Ghana Ordinance (No.34) of 1957 was repealed by the Bank of Ghana Act (1963), Act 182. This Act was subsequently amended by the Bank of Ghana (Amendment Act) 1965, (Act 282).The Bank of Ghana Law, 1992 PNDCL 291 repealed Acts 182 and 282.
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