The Bank of Ghana Announces Plans to Build Financial Inclusion With CBDC
- The Central Bank of Ghana has already begun an offline test for the e-Cedis.
- Ghana has identified financial inclusion as its top objective and believes that a digital currency will greatly increase local access to financial services.
Ghana has joined the growing list of countries seeking to embrace central bank digital currency (CBDC). The country’s central bank has been researching CBDCs, which it says would help boost financial inclusion.
In an interview with Cointelegraph, Kwame Oppong, the head of fintech and innovation at the Bank of Ghana, revealed that the West African country is set to finalize its CBDC test and will soon release its digital currency for public use. He said,
I think in terms of CBDC, our goal is to be able to finish testing it. We’ve seen the results. We’re going to look at the study each and every time in the future. But our real reason for doing it is more financial inclusion.
According to Kwame, Ghana has already begun an offline test for its digital currency, the e-Cedis. The currency was tested in a Ghanaian town called Sefwi Asafo, and locals could smoothly purchase items without internet connectivity.
Ghana’s e-Cedi is a retail central bank digital currency that locals can use for payments via a digital wallet application. The country opted to go in this direction after it announced financial inclusion as its top priority.
According to the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Ernest Addison, Ghana chose to test the eCedi in an area with little access to the internet to show how useful a digital currency can be in bridging access to financial services.
Ghana’s interest in CBDCs follows the country’s curiosity about emerging technologies and the use of digital currencies. The Central Bank of Ghana believes that launching a digital currency would greatly add value to the Ghanaian economy.
According to Kwame, CBDC’s instant settlement feature would potentially save costs for the West African nation. He, however, admitted that, like the rest of the world, Ghana is still researching the use of CBDCs.
Ghana joins other African countries like Nigeria and the Central African Republic. Its West African neighbor, Nigeria, was the first African nation to launch a CBDC, while the CAR was the first on the continent to recognize Bitcoin as a legal tender.
Africa has the third fastest-growing crypto market in the world. Despite limiting factors such as internet connectivity and anti-crypto policies, Africans have shown great curiosity and interest in digital currencies. According to research, a large number of Africans have turned to cryptocurrencies, especially stablecoins, for remittance, savings, and a store of value.