Bank of Ghana partners German firm in digital currency rollout

BY: Kweku Zurek
Bank of Ghana partners German firm in digital currency rollout

The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has announced a partnership agreement with the German currency technology platform, Giesecke+Devrient (G+D) to pilot a general-purpose Central Bank Digital Currency (retail CBDC).

In a joint statement Wednesday, the two parties said G+D is providing the technology and developing the solution adapted to Ghana’s requirements, which will be tested in a trial phase with banks, payment service providers, merchants, consumers and other relevant stakeholders. 

G+D will provide its proprietary CBDC solution known as Filia to pilot the issuance of a digital form of Ghana’s national currency, the cedi.

The project is part of the 'Digital Ghana Agenda', which involves the digitization of the country of 30 million people and its government services. The project will be divided into three phases: design, implementation and pilot.

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The digital Cedi, or 'e-Cedi', is intended to complement and serve as a digital alternative to physical cash, thus driving the Ghanaian cash lite agenda through the 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.

The Governor of Bank of Ghana, Dr Ernest K. Y. Addision said: “CBDC presents a great opportunity to build a robust, inclusive, competitive and sustainable financial sector, led by the Central Bank. From all indications, the concept has a significant role to play in the future of financial service delivery globally. This project is a significant step towards positioning Ghana to take full advantage of this emerging concept.”

"Central banks around the world are exploring the introduction of digital money as legal tender. The Ghanaian government is one of the first African countries now entering a pilot phase. We are proud to support Ghana with our technology and expertise," Dr. Wolfram Seidemann, the CEO of the Giesecke+Devrient Currency Technology business sector said.

Ghana's CBDC is scheduled to be issued in September.