Central Bank in Africa needs to engage on digital currency 

Central Banks in Africa have been urged to engage each other to ensure that digital currency is accessible in the sub-region for smooth trade facilitation. 

Mr Romeo Bugyei, CEO of IT Consortium, who made the call said with cross-border payments, there was the need for serious engagement to create convenience and reduce the cost of operations. 

He was speaking at the MTN Ghana’s Stakeholder Forum on the Impact of Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) or digital Cedi on Future Digital Payments in Accra. The forum formed part of the MTN MoMo Month celebration. 

The Bank of Ghana together with its partners has conducted a pilot on the digital Cedi in a trial phase with banks, payment service providers, merchants, consumers, and other relevant stakeholders 

The digital Cedi, or ‘e-Cedi’, is intended to complement and serve as a digital alternative to physical cash, thus driving the Ghanaian cashlite agenda through promotion of diverse digital payments, while ensuring a secure and robust payment infrastructure in Ghana. 

It also aims to facilitate payments without a bank account, contract, or smartphone, by so doing boosting the use of digital services and financial inclusion amongst all demographic groups. 

“It will make the sub-region closer to each other and trade facilitation easier for businesses,” he said. 

He said when these engagements and arrangements were done, it would improve on cross-border payments and invariably promote intra-trade.

He said with the CBDC it would bring stability and trust into the digital currency space and address some of the challenges in the fintech space. 

Mr Clarence Blay, Assistant Director, Fintech, and Innovation at the Bank of Ghana, said the digital currency had been built on the advances in the sector, which would promote inclusiveness, positive disruption to the financial service landscape, leveraging the capabilities of FSPs, and interoperability. 

He said the Central Bank would depend on the existing digital payments architecture to roll out digital currency, adding that unlike mobile money and other digital wallets, the currency allows both online and offline transactions. 

He said the digital currency would deepen financial inclusion, because during the design of the CBDC there was inclusiveness at all levels. 

“We are trying to preserve the existing financial service architecture through positive disruptions,” he added. 

Mr Eli Hini, the CEO of Mobile Money Limited at MTN Ghana, said digital currencies have become an important tool for transactions all over the world due to the opportunities they present. 

He said there was the need to address a lot of the issues that were associated with cyber security challenges, adding that in all these discussions there were always potential risks, which needed to be recognised and addressed.  -GNA 

Show More
Back to top button