The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has confirmed that it will be piloting the first general purpose Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) in Africa in partnership with Giesecke+Devrient.
The pilot will be implemented as a precursor to the issuance of a digital form of the national currency, the Cedi, and will become the first general purpose CBDC in Africa upon rollout.
The solution, dubbed Filia, enables secure, consecutive offline payments in case no network connection is available.
In a press release, the Bank of Ghana said:
“The digital Cedi, or ‘e-Cedi’, is intended to complement and serve as a digital alternative to physical cash, thus driving the Ghanaian cashlite agenda through promotion of diverse digital payments, while ensuring a secure and robust payment infrastructure in Ghana.
It also aims to facilitate payments without a bank account, contract, or smartphone, by so doing boosting the use of digital services and financial inclusion amongst all demographic groups.”
– Bank of Ghana (BoG)
The project is divided into 3 phases:
- Design Phase – All framework parameters (economic, regulatory, technical requirements) wil be specified and defined
- Implementation Phase – The CBDC solution to be adapted for the Ghanaian context
- Pilot Phase – A user group from diverse demographc and socio-economic backgrounds to test the solution in teh field using different channels and form factors such as smart cards and mobile apps
BoG is looking to gather insights from the pilot user experiences with lessons for a nationwide rollout of the e-Cedi.
Some of the aspects to be studied during the pilot test will include:
- Acceptance of the e-Cedi fro the end-users perspective
- IT security of the infrastructure
- Impact of the project on monetary policy and payment system
- Evaluation of the legal implications
The pilot phase follows the implementation phase which commenced in early June 2021. The pilot, which is the final phase of the project, is expected to rollout in September 2021.
Read / Download the full press release here.
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