The Bank of Ghana is urging all Ghanaians to support the piloting of Ghana’s yet to be launched central bank digital currency, the eCedi to enable it achieve its noble purpose of helping stabilize the country’s financial system.
Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison made the call in his introductory message captured in the 32-page Design Paper of the Digital Cedi (eCedi) from the central bank.
“We encourage all Ghanaians to jointly support the eCedi pilot project
towards a future stable, digitally advanced, and innovative financial system for Ghana,” he stated.
The 32-page Design Paper therefore gives an overview of the motivations for issuing the eCedi, the potential benefits for stakeholders, the design principles of the eCedi, including the governance, accessibility, interoperability, requisite infrastructure and security.
This comes barely a week after millionaire realtor, Freedom Jacob Caesar dropped a loud hint about crypto product called Freedom Coin to the Ghanaian public, which triggered a public notice from the BoG informing Ghanaians that Freedom Coin has not been licensed in Ghana.
In the face of the volatile and unregulated cryptocurrency virtually taking over the finance worlds, central banks across the globe felt the need to start looking at issuing regulated Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) to safeguard the sector.
Per a survey on CBDC by the Bank of International Settlement in 2021 86% of central banks were actively researching the potential for CBDCs, 60% were experimenting with the technology and 14% were deploying pilot projects. The dynamics may have changed as of today.
Bank of Ghana (BoG) is one of the first few African central banks to declare working on a digital currency.
Various countries may have different motivations for pursuing CBDC, but Dr. Addison said for Ghana, the focus is to deepen government’s digitalization program by mainstreaming digital payments to formalise the economy, and enhance the efficiency of fiscal operations and monetary policy transmission mechanisms.
“Bank of Ghana declared its intention to explore a CBDC within the framework of the financial sector digitalisation program. It is in pursuit of this goal that Bank of Ghana announced the concept of the eCedi – a digital version of the Cedi banknotes and coins.
“In Ghana the motives include a combination of factors such as; facilitation of financial inclusion, pursuit of a cash-lite economy, enhancing operational efficiency and cost-effectiveness in payments, and provision of a safe, secure and trustworthy alternative
to privately issued digital currencies,” he said.
The Governor assured Ghanaians that Ghana’s eCedi is designed with a variety of possible architectures and design features and tailored to needs as stated in its policy objectives, based on comprehensive research on the issue, the results of which has informed the effective design solution for the eCedi.
He said the central bank will extensively engage stakeholders to the extent possible for their active participation and successful implementation.
“We appreciate the feedback from the individuals, banks, FinTech companies, and academics for the useful answers and comments to questionnaires, interviews and interactions,” the Governor said.