Ghana is set to commence the piloting of its electronic currency by September this year.
This was disclosed by the First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Maxwell Opoku-Afari.
According to him, the introduction of the Central Bank’s Digital Currency (CBDC) is crucial as the pandemic has quickened the drive towards a cash-lite economy and is likely to shape post-COVID-19 monetary policy.
Delivering the keynote address at a two-day capacity-building session for Journalists for Business Advocacy in Accra, Mr. Opoku-Afari, noted that this was part of the drive towards deepening digital transactions in the country.
He also noted that the increased use of Mobile Money and other electronic forms of payment since the onset of COVID-19 has intensified the need for the introduction of a digital currency.
“Digital currency is part of the Central Bank acknowledging the need for digital payment and digital delivery of financial services. By this, the Bank of Ghana will provide a platform on which we can add more value to digital transactions. When you introduce the central bank digital currency, it’s cash on its own. This means it does not have to be backed by any other thing.”
“What the central bank wants to bring into the space is also to allow all the financial tech companies and the banks to add value to the digital cash. It is a complex area, and it’s an area that we need to watch very carefully. It is for this reason why we have to take our time to design it with all the security features but introduce it in a pilot face in what we call a sand box environment,” he said.
He further noted that the duration of the piloting phase will be determined by how easily the public accepts it and how quickly the operational dynamics come to the fore.
“After the introduction of the CBDDC in the sandbox, and lessons are learnt, then we bring it out and introduce it to the public. But then you keep on creating a sandbox to be able to promote innovation. The piloting phase will all be determined by the programming phase, which we will try to finish by the end of September,” he added.
The two-day capacity-building session for Journalists for Business Advocacy in Ghana was under the theme, “Understanding Monetary Policy in a Post-Pandemic Era”.