The Bank of Ghana says it has taken a more cautious, incremental and collaborative approach to pilot Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) and other associated initiatives in the future.

It is also aware of the enormous benefits that could be harnessed from CBDCs in cross-border payments whilst being mindful of all associated challenges and risks.

Giving remarks at the Institute of Chartered Accountants Week celebration, Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison, said wants to see a future where the cedi or e-Cedi is available and accessible at all times.

“We want to see a future where the Ghanaian currency; whether eCedi or the traditional cash or cheque system or any other approved payment instrument or stream is available and accessible at all times to the public in a manner that preserves the sanctity and integrity of our payment and financial ecosystem.”

He further added that “digital innovations is here and has come to stay with us.”

“Although it will disrupt traditional status quo, we are mindful of the need to embrace technological changes that are relevant within our context and bring socio-economic benefit to all. Today, we have been entrusted with a mandate which enables us to take decisions which are most likely to affect the future of our payment and financial ecosystem.”

Toward a cash-lite economy

The Governor said digital payment instruments denominated in sovereign currencies such as CBDC would continue to thrive and help achieve the cash lite agenda of the bank.

“Although within Sub Saharan Africa, the use of cash remains prevalent, the introduction of its digitised version would play a complimentary role to cash. While the pace of digitisation varies across various jurisdictions, the emergence of cashless and digitized payment streams is expected to grow in the foreseeable future”, he added.

The rapid adoption of digital technologies in other critical sectors such as trade, for instance, Dr. Addison said, has been characterised by rise in trade volumes and values and have positively affected the lives of ordinary citizens.

The digital currency (e-Cedi) that the Central Bank intends introducing is presently in the pilot phase and may be introduced by next year.

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