Bank of Ghana to roll out Digital Cedi pilot phase in September

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TL;DR Breakdown

  • Bank of Ghana to roll out Digital Cedi Sandbox Pilot September
  • Ghana central bank to use CBDC promote digital payment and digital delivery of financial services.

Africa’s fastest-growing fintech haven, Ghana, has joined the digital currency race as it is looking to pilot its central bank digital currency (CBDC) in September this year, the Bank of Ghana disclosed.

Maxwell Opoku-Afari, the deputy governor of the Bank of Ghana, announced the central bank digital currency (Digital Cedi) move in an interview with a local media platform in the country.

According to him, the Bank of Ghana was at the last stage of development before the implementation of a Digital Cedi (e-Cedi) in a sandbox environment which is expected to commence roll out by September 2021.

The pilot phase will enable the Bank of Ghana to design and review all the safety and protection features before it is rolled out for the general public.

Opoku-Afari, additionally pointed out that approval for the use of the government-controlled digital currency will largely depend on the outcome of the piloting stage that is slated to begin in September. However, the central bank did not reveal a definitive timeline for the possible launch of the digital cedi.

The West African-based country has declared its interest in pioneering the continent’s first digital currency as it recently partnered with digital transformation consortium Emtech in a bid to launch a sandbox focused on blockchain, CBDCs, and financial inclusion.

Bank of Ghana to promote digital innovation

Ernest Addison, Governor of the Bank of Ghana, had earlier disclosed that the central bank was focused on promoting and embracing digital innovation. He said that the Ghanaian central bank was the first government-controlled institution in the continent to announce it was directly conducting work on digital currency.

According to reports, Opoku-Afari also noted that CBDC is the same as fiat money, referring to it as “cash on its own.” The central bank’s deputy governor also noted that the Bank of Ghana had taken its time and put a lot of effort into designing a CBDC that possesses all the necessary security features.

He said digital currency is part of the central bank acknowledging the need for digital payment and digital delivery of financial services. Adding that the Bank of Ghana will provide a platform on which citizens can add more value to digital transactions.

Additionally, it is worth noting that several central banks in the continent have also revealed their interest in launching a central bank digital currency. Notable on the list includes the Central Bank of Nigeria, Central Bank of Kenya, among others.

Six East African states are reportedly also exploring the possibility of using CBDC as a medium to their shared payment system.

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