Ghana to start piloting electronic cash by September: official

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A man walks with a face mask at the Kantamanto market after the partial lockdown in parts of Ghana to halt the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus was lifted in Accra, Ghana on April 20, 2020. - The streets of Accra buzzed with life following President Nana Akufo-Addo's announcement of the end to a three-week restriction on movement around the capital and second region Kumasi. (Photo by Nipah Dennis / AFP) (Photo by NIPAH DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Shoppers browse for goods at the Kantamanto market in Accra, Ghana on April 20, 2020. Cashless payments could soon be changing the way business is done in the country’s marketplaces. (Photo by NIPAH DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Ghana is to commence the piloting of its electronic currency by September, a senior official of the central bank said Friday.

Maxwell Opoku-Afari, first deputy governor of the Bank of Ghana, revealed this in his keynote address at a two-day capacity-building session for Journalists for Business Advocacy in Ghana.

He said the introduction of the central bank digital currency (CBDC) was one of the critical post-COVID-19 policy imperatives, as the pandemic has quickened the drive towards a cashless economy and is likely to shape monetary policy going forward.

“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,” said Opoku-Afari.

He added 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 and operational undergirding built to contain any operational challenges arising.”

“We anticipate that the Bank’s CBDC would further advance financial inclusion, promote the efficiency and stability of the payment system, and foster competition in the financial sector,” he added.

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