Gsr Special Series #1 - A Tale of Two Cedis Part Two)
GSR Blog Special Series #1: A Tale of TwoCedis Part TwoThis is the continuing saga of two adventurous cedi (the cedi is the currency of Ghana) noteswho go out into the world to make their fortune. They almost decide to hitch a ride to China,but change their mind when they hear of other cedis that went to China but never came back. The two cedis decided that it would not be worthwhile to travel to China to seek their fortune. But what about Washington or New York? How about investing themselves in an NGO development project? There were many such projects, and they all promised the people in Lili’s village a better life. For instance, a large hydroelectric project had just been completed. Foreign dignitaries showed up for the ribbon cutting ceremony. The Minister of Economic Development gave a nice speech The Two Cedis explaining the importance of the project. Now five megawatts of powerwere available for local development. Proceeds from the sale of electricity would fundschool and clinic programs. Unfortunately, no one in Lili’s village had enough money toafford to pay for the electricity. There were no local businesses set up to take advantage ofthe electricity. Therefore there was no stimulus for local economic growth from thisdevelopment project, and thus no benefit for the local community.There were many such projects, and the two cedis were trying to figure out which projectwould solve Lili’s problem. They were a bit sad when they finally reached the conclusionthat there was so little impact from all these well intentioned efforts. The two cedis beganto consider what were the actual problems preventing Lili and her family from emergingfrom poverty Why didn’t Lili make a big, well stocked market with a wide variety of
products? It was not because Lili and her husband were lazy – they worked hard! And theywere also very motivated to improve their condition. The cedis realized that there weresome obstacles preventing this: Capital constraints – Lili didn’t have capital to build a big shop Distance constraints - no means to transport tons of products to stock such a shop Infrastructure constraints – A larger shop requires cold storage to keep unsold produce from going rotten. Not only could Lili not afford to build a cold storage facility, but there was not even be electricity to run such a cold room Lilis Store Competition from other stalls selling the same items Time constraints – She is walking 4 hours each day to and from home to sell her goods. She has no time to grow more food than she currently produces. No banking facilities She has no bank account to hold and manage her cash flow The cedis sat glumly in Lili’s pocket. It was a dark forbidding world out there! An innocent cedicould easily become worthless!Will the cedis finally find their place in the warm Ghana sun? Stay tuned for the next excitingchapter.