The Bank of Ghana has published a press release announcing the intent to pilot a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) in Ghana through the partnership of Giesecke+Devrient (G+D) starting in September 2021. This would make Ghana the first African country to pilot a CBDC.
The press release mentions that the digital Cedi or "e-Cedi" (CBDC) Central Bank Digital Currency pilot project is part of the 'Digital Ghana Agenda' aiming to digitize Ghana's government services and financially include 30 million people. The pilot has three phases: design, implementation, and pilot/test.
Giesecke+Devrient (G+D) has developed a non-blockchain non-cryptocurrency solution called Filia® which "combines the advantages of today's cash with the needs of users in an increasingly digitized world. Filia guarantees outstanding security, high availability and resilience, as well as the ability to protect user data while complying with regulatory requirements. In addition, the solution enables secure, consecutive offline payments in case no network connection is available." View a brochure on the solution here.
G+D has an impressive history in finance, as they boast the invention of the chip card used in all credit cards today, as well as lead the efforts to standardize SIM cards. In 2019 they developed G+D Filia® designed closely to resemble cash.
The CBDC in Ghana will compliment rather than replace cash, it will be explored as digital money as legal tender.
A CBDC does not replace cash. Learn more about CBDCs from DIGICEN's CBDC article.
Economic Inclusion is the idea that everyone can participate in the economy making for a robust economy. Before someone has the opportunity to purchase a smartphone or internet-enabled device and other basic necessities they require the income necessary to do so. Income can be obtained through jobs, gigs, and/or via cash-transfer programs such as a Basic Income policy, a tax credit policy (like the CTC), and with the help of tools such as a CBDC.
DIGICEN advocates against the use of cryptocurrencies for a variety of reasons, you can read the list of reasons here, and instead advocates for Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC). Read DIGICEN's article on why crypto may not be a good investment overall.
Everyone should have the opportunity to participate in the economy, and they should be able to benefit from any existing and future government programs that can be delivered through the CBDC. DIGICEN works to encourage the Innovation Cycle of Digital Economic Inclusion. In order for the cycle to continue, DIGICEN advocates to make sure that everyone has the necessary tools: a foundational income floor such as a Universal Basic Income (UBI); access to internet-enabled devices and apps (Universal Access); freedom to use CBDCs; and access to democracy technology.