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Four Countries in Africa Looking to Create Central Bank Digital Currency to Achieve Financial Inclusion.

In a bid to achieve financial inclusion in the government, some African countries are looking into creating Central Bank Digital Currency . 

There is an increase in the growth of cryptocurency in Africa which has called for regulations due to increase in cryto scam. Moreso, there is need for achieving financial inclusion in Africa to fasten development.

Moreover, there is an increase in the use of digital curencies, which calls for revolutionization of the fiat money. This calls for the digitalization of the fiat money to encourage adoption of cryptocurrency and at the same time maintain it’s value.

So far, five countries in Africa has announced the possibilty of launching a central bank digital currency (cbdc) in the nearest future. These countries include: South Africa, Tunisia, Ghana and Kenya. 

South Africa

South Africa announced looking into the feasibility, appropriateness and desirability of creating central bank digital currency to be used as electronic digital tender complimentry to cash.

The cbcd must be electronic cash, liable to the central banks balance sheet similar to the cash and central bank deposits. It must also be denominated in the central bank money.

Some notable excerpts from the official report

requires it’s potential cbcd to be an electronic central bank issued currency which will be peer to peer. It will be of two types which includes:

  • Wholesale CBCD: Available only to financial instructions and 
  • Retail CBCD: Available only to the public. 

This is in the effort of the bank to achieve financial inclusion and ensure proper regulations on the use of digital currencies for payments. It will help sustain it’s banking service and encourage security of the cyber space against fraud.

Tunisia

The Central bank of Tunisia previosly announced the launch of its digital currency in partnership with Russian Startup Universa Blockchain. The digital currency version of fiat will be called E-Dinar.

According to reports, a percentage of every transaction will be received by Universa. Moreoover, the cost of issuing E-Dinar is 100 times cheaper than the cost of issuing liquid money. 

Transaction records unlike cryptocurrency will be traceable and protected while all access to encryption keys or permissions to see records will be solely handled by the central bank.

Ghana 

Ghana announced the launch of a central bank digital currency dubbed e-Cedi considering the wider adoption of digital payments in the country.

In the first quarter of 2019, it recorded over 140billion Ghana cedis in digital payments using its mobile payment system. This is over 34 percent compared to that of 2018.

According to Dr Ernest Addison, Governor Bank of Ghana, “the digital currency e-cedi is not a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin rather it’s just a digital money representing the Ghana cedis.”

Below are some payment records from the Ghana economy that has prompted the cbdc development:

140B Cedis transacted in Q1, 2019

34% YoY growth

3.3M bank cheques down from 3.6M YoY

“Some banks have recorded over 80% of their transactions emanating from these digital and electronic channels. I commend this drive and urge banks in Ghana to continue to disrupt themselves and leverage emerging technologies such as AI, Deep Data Mining, Robotics, Blockchain, etc.”

says Patricia Sappor, President, Chartered Institute of Bankers during the 23rd National Banking Conference in Ghana.

Kenya

Blockchain Taskforce Kenya in it’s report, suggests the creation of a digital currency from the central bank to achieve financial inclusion in the country.

“We need a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) to facilitate the implementation of many DLT and AI solutions that we envisage.”

Some of the areas in which the report proposes will have a big impact include:

  • Payments, Clearing and Settlement.
  • Lending (and sections of Commercial banking practice).
  • Alternative Currency Configurations (digital) and transition of fiscal and monetary policy.

The report points out to the fact that a CBCD will help the country deliver an efficient banking service. 

Many transactions are in digital form already with an increased percentage of total financial transactions coming from either bank transfers, online banking, mobile payments or credit card transactions.  

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