The Bank of Ghana (BOG) says it has signed an agreement with Giesecke Devrient (GD) to implement a pilot central bank digital currency (CBDC) project. This pilot CBDC, which is a precursor to the e-cedi digital currency, is set to be tested with banks, payment service providers, merchants, consumers and other relevant stakeholders.
Learning From the Trial Phase
In a press release, the Ghanaian central bank says GD will provide the technology and a solution that suits Ghana’s requirements. The press statement adds that during the trial phase, a study seeking to look at “the acceptance of the e-Cedi from the end users’ perspective” will also be undertaken.
The pilot CBDC’s impact on monetary policy and payment systems as well as the legal implications will be evaluated. In turn, the BOG says it will use valuable lessons gained from pilot user experiences when it finally rolls out the e-cedi.
Ghana’s CBDC Mission
The press statement quotes the BOG governor, Ernest Addision, talking up the potential impact of the e-cedi on Ghana’s economy and speaking about how his country is determined to take advantage of this. He said:
[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. This project is a significant step towards positioning Ghana to take full advantage of this emerging concept.
Meanwhile, the BOG says in its press release that the pilot CBDC project is a part of the “Digital Ghana Agenda,” an initiative that involves “the digitization of the country of 30 million people and its government services.”
The e-cedi on the other hand is intended to complement and serve as a digital alternative to physical cash. It also aims to facilitate payments without a bank account, contract, or smartphone, and by so doing boost the use of digital services and financial inclusion amongst all demographics.
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