Ghana’s central bank to partner German firm to pilot digital currency

GHANA’S central bank will partner with a German technology firm to commence the piloting of the proposed electronic currency from September, a release said Wednesday.

The Bank of Ghana (BoG) said in a release it had signed an agreement with Giesecke + Devrient (G+D), the German firm, to implement the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) project ahead of the official issuance of a digital form of the Cedi currency.

‘The German company will provide the technology and develop the solution adapted to Ghana’s requirements, and test this in a trial phase with banks, payment service providers, merchants, consumers, and other relevant stakeholders,’ the BoG stated.

Ghana (left) partner Germany (right) partner to develop digital currency

The release said the central bank and G+D would undertake the project in three phases: design, implementation, and pilot, ahead of a nationwide rollout.

Ernest Addison, the governor of the Bank of Ghana (pictured left), said, ‘This project is a significant step towards positioning Ghana to take full advantage of this emerging concept.’

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He added: ‘The CBDC presents a great opportunity to build a robust, inclusive, competitive, and sustainable financial sector, led by the Central Bank. From all indications, the concept has a significant role to play in the future of financial service delivery globally.’

The bank expects the digital cedi to complement and serve as a digital alternative to the physical cash to drive Ghana’s cashlite agenda through promoting diverse digital payments to ensure a secure and robust payment infrastructure.

The bank said the electronic currency would also facilitate payments without a bank account, contracts, or smartphones ‘to boost the use of digital services and financial inclusion amongst all demographic groups.’

Over the pilot period, the release said the partners would conduct a study on the acceptance of the e-Cedi from the end users’ perspective.

‘The IT security of the infrastructure, impact of the project on monetary policy and payment system, and the legal implications will also be evaluated,’ added the release.

Insights from pilot user experiences, the release said, would provide Bank of Ghana and G+D with valuable lessons for a nationwide rollout of the e-Cedi.

Source: Koku Devitor from Accra, Africa Briefing

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