Accra, Wednesday 20th March, 2019 - On Friday, 15th March, Google’s currency converter widget displayed a cedi to dollar rate that was four times the actual value, alongside erroneous market rates of a number of currencies against the Ghanaian Cedi.
In a letter addressed to the office of the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta and the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Ernest Addison, Mrs Titi Akinsanmi, Google’s Head Public Policy & Government Relations, West and Francophone Africa said: “we are aware of the issue of inaccurate conversions for Ghanaian Cedi currency on Friday the 15th of March. This was caused by a minor glitch that was quickly fixed.”
The alleged “minor glitch” went viral on social media shortly after it appeared online, as Ghanaians sought to understand whether Google’s currency convertor’s ludicrous rates were true. Google did not specify if their system had been attacked by malware.
“We always aim to provide people with the most relevant, useful information to help them to make the right decisions. But sometimes there are temporary issues that can cause people to have undesired experiences, like the one this past Friday. This was regrettable,” said Mrs Akinsanmi.
Although she expressed regret over what has affected two other countries since the beginning of the year, Mrs Akinsanmi stopped short of apologizing for the glitch.
Nigeria was also recently affected by a similar “glitch” as the country headed to the polls in February. On the 22nd of February, the Naira had traded at about twice its normal value. It was the second time Africa’s largest economy had suffered from an error in Google’s currency convertor system. Mid-January this year, Pakistan Rupee also suffered a glitch with affected values similar to what occurred in Nigeria. END