The board of the Bank of Central African States (BEAC), the regional bank for the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC) member states, is asking the bank to launch a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).
According to Bloomberg, BEAC was urged to advance the move by its board of directors in meetings held in July 2022 in Douala, Cameroon.
BEAC was established in 1972 under the official name Banque des États de l’Afrique Centrale (BEAC). The bank’s head office is in Cameroon. The bank’s member states include:
- The Republic of Congo
- Equatorial Guinea
- Central African Republic
BEAC stated roles include:
- Manage the region’s monetary policy
- Issue currency
- Drive the exchange rate of the region
- Manage the foreign reserves of the member states
- Facilitate payments and settlement systems
In the report, BEAC’s board also asked the bank to increase financial inclusion in the region.
Financial inclusion is one of the main considerations as Central Banks across the continent explore CBDCs. According to a recent analysis by IMF, at least 13 countries are at different stages of exploration, with 9 in the research phase.
However, for the Central African Republic (CAR), one of BEAC member states, it has decided to introduce a national cryptocurrency, called SangoCoin, as part of a wider project to transform the countries financial system, making it more inclusive and attractive to investors.
BEAC is against CAR’s project and in May 2022 asked it to annul a law that legalizes bitcoin as legal tender, with the BEAC saying the cryptocurrency could compete with the Central African Franc (CFA), which is the region’s currency.
BEAC’s official currency is the Central African franc (CFA), which had an exchange rate that was formerly fixed to the French franc but is now fixed to the Euro.