Is the one pesewa coin still valuable in Ghana’s economy?

The use of smaller coin denominations is gradually becoming extinct as many people are placing almost no value on the legal tender.

For now, the one pesewa coins have virtually lost their economic value. Apart from the banking sector and a few other businesses using them for their day to day transactions, the rest of the public are using them for decorations and other purposes.

After Ghana decided to leave the British colonial monetary system and adopt the widely accepted decimal system some 54years ago, the cedi and pesewa were introduced on the 19th July 1965 to replace the Ghana pounds, shillings and pence.

Currently, coins in circulation, come in different denominations of Gh1.00, 0.50p, 0.20p, 0.10p, 0.5p and the 0.1p coin being the least.

A visit to the Accra Mall, some customers who received change from a sales lady, only dropped the one pesewa coins in a box out of the rest of the coins received. The proceeds were to be sent to orphanage homes who receive the one pesewa sum as donations.


A visit to Kwame Nkrumah Interchange area which is also a brisk business hub within the capital city, the first sachet water seller rejected the twenty pieces of the 0.1pesewa coin but preferred to give the water out for free.

The hawker quizzed “which money is this? We don’t use this money in Ghana”.

A yoghurt seller encountered was greeted with mixed feelings when he received a 0.50p and fifty pieces of 0.1pesewa coins summing up to Gh1.00.

He stood and watched with shock where the 0.1p came from. He also rejected the supposed legal tender.

The second sachet water vendor did not spare a minute of her time to accept the coins. She exclaimed, “we don’t use this type of money!”

So far, there is nothing the 0.1p coin can buy in Ghana. The rejection is not only with its tiny brown nature but also the quantity of twenty pieces to be exchanged for a sachet of water.

A lover of groundnut would have to part with fifty pieces of 0.1p hence the quantity factor is another concern in the era where people want to carry less or no cash to be able to transact basic commerce.

Interestingly, an image was seen on social media of a lady decorated with the legal tender through a search on Facebook.

In some topmost hotels in Accra, the currency was used for decoration on a wall serving as a backdrop for photographs.

From the reaction of traders encountered, the question that begs for an answer is whether the one pesewa coin still has any value within the financial spectrum in Ghana?

Defacing of a legal tender

A currency analyst and head of research at Group Nduom, Kofi Ampah in an interview with JoyBusiness said it is totally unacceptable for anyone to deface a legal tender of any country no matter how devalued the currency has become.

“It’s not allowed for any individual or institution to deface a country’s currency. You may keep the money as treasure but you can’t use it for artefacts or decoration. The owners of the currency, in this case, Bank of Ghana must take action against those defacing the currency” he added.

So far, items that need to be charged with fractions are either summed up to the nearest whole. In reaction, Mr Ampah says it makes life unbearable for the average person as the least pesewa is not accepted.

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