The biggest surprise to me in Accra, where I am visiting for the first time since 2003, is that one dollar is worth the equivalent of one Ghanaian cedi. When I changed a 50 dollar bill at the airport, I was startled to receive 50 cedis in return — not the 50,000 I expected.
After I caught my breath, I learned that not long ago the Ghana government lopped four zeroes off all of its currency notes.
The new currency makes calculations much easier — and one cedi much more valuable. But inflation has leaped and there is a natural inclination to for consumers to think things are less expensive than they really are.
Most significantly, there is a mixture of pride and bewilderment of the new equivalence of the dollar and the cedi.