Ghana contemplating its own digital currency

28 Nov 2019

Ghana currencyThe Republic of Ghana is considering issuing a central bank digital currency (CBDC), according to the governor of the central bank.

Ernest Addison, governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), announced that the bank is working alongside key stakeholders to look into the possibility of a pilot CBDC project.

Speaking at a keynote address this week at the National Banking Conference, Addison commented that the CBDC would be undertaken in a sandbox “with the possibility of issuing an e-cedi in the near future,” according to a Coin Telegraph report.

During his speech, the Bank of Ghana governor stated that the CBDC pilot initiative is in line with the country’s efforts to digitise the financial and banking sector.

Addison said: “Digital financial technologies will continue to define the future of our banking experience,” adding that the volume of mobile money transactions rose from 982 million in 2017 to 1.4 billion last year.

“This consistent growth pattern underscores the sustainable nature of opportunity for the banking sector,” the governor went on to say.

Furthermore, the Bank of Ghana governor announced that the country’s largest bank in terms of total operating assets - Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB Bank) – has been authorised by the BoG to issue e-money.

Addison affirmed that GCB Bank would generate electronic value backed by an equivalent cash amount, allowing customers access to GCB-issued electronic wallets.

Ghana is not the first African country to contemplate issuing its own digital currency.

Back in August this year, the National Bank of Rwanda revealed it was looking into offering a digital currency to boost the efficiency of transactions and bolster economic growth.

At the time, Coin Telegraph reported that Rwanda’s National Bank was planning to study other countries’ central banks’ attempts to create a national, digital currency, including Canada, Singapore and the Netherlands.