Ghana Vice President Praises Central Bank’s CBDC Initiative, Says Digital Currencies Can Boost Intra-African Trade

The Ghanaian Vice President, Mahamudu Bawumia, has implored African governments to start exploring digital currencies as such alternatives have the potential to enhance intra-African trade. In addition, such digital currencies allow African countries to carry out all cross-border payments smoothly, the leader explained.

Ghana Government Backing for CBDC

According to a report, Bawumia made these comments while addressing guests at the opening ceremony of the Ghana International Trade and Finance Conference (GITFIC) in Accra. The report also quotes Bawumia commending the Ghanaian central bank’s e-cedi project. He said the Ghanaian government is ready to “give it the needed credibility and legal backing for usage.”

As previously reported by News, the Bank of Ghana (BOG) is one of the first African central banks to announce the start of the pilot phase of its central bank digital currency (CBDC). However, final approval of this CBDC will depend on the outcome of the pilot phase.

Concerning the Pan African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS), the African continent’s central payment and collection infrastructure, Bawumia explained that this will “allow businesses on the continent to clear and settle transactions in their local currencies without depending on third-party currencies.”

He added that this system can also act as an “alternative to the current high-cost and long correspondent banking relationships by facilitating trade and other economic activities across the continent through a single, low-cost, and risk-controlled payment clearing and settlement system.”

Ghana’s Digitization Policies

Meanwhile, the Ghanaian Vice President also used his speech to extol the Akufo-Addo administration’s banking sector and digitization policies. He said:

Concurrently, digitisation has also become one of the most consequential policies of the Nana Akufo-Addo government. When the scourge of the COVID-19 pandemic hit and forced many economies into partial and total lockdowns, it reinforced the need to pursue digitization.

Following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, mobile money and digital platforms have emerged as important financial inclusion tools for Ghana. Using Ghana’s success as a reference, Bawumia urged other African countries to follow his government. He said this needs to be done in order “to ensure the growth of the AFCFTA [African Continental Free Trade Agreement] vision.”

What are your thoughts on the Ghanaian Vice President’s remarks about digital currencies? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

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