Ghana central bank partners with German firm for CBDC pilot test

Ghana has made a big step in its journey towards launching a central bank digital currency, this time picking a technology partner for the CBDC pilot. The Bank of Ghana recently announced that it had partnered with a German firm for the design and implementation of the digital cedi.

In a press release, the bank revealed it had partnered with Giesecke+Devrient (G+D), a Munich-based company specializing in banknote and securities printing and cash handling systems. G+D will provide the technology and develop the solution in line with the bank’s requirements and be involved in the trial phase with local banks, payment service providers, merchants and consumers.

Ghana has been one of the most aggressive nations in Africa in CBDC development. As CoinGeek reported a month ago, the West African country revealed it intends to start its pilot in September. The Bank of Ghana is now inching ever closer to becoming the first in Africa to have a CBDC.

As per the announcement, the e-Cedi project will be in three phases—design, implementation and the pilot.

In the first phase, the focus will be on specifying and defining all the framework parameters of the CBDC pilot, from economic and technical to regulatory requirements. G+D will then take all these requirements into account as it builds the CBDC in the next phase. In the final phase, users with diverse backgrounds—demographic and socio-economic—will test the e-Cedi via different channels, ranging from mobile apps to smart cards.

The central bank intends to take a study on the acceptance of the e-Cedi from the end users’ perspective. It will also evaluate the impact of the digital currency on the monetary and payments systems, its legal implications and its security.

In his remarks, BoG Governor Ernest Addision stated that he believes the e-Cedi “is a significant step towards positioning Ghana to take full advantage of this emerging concept [CBDCs]. From all indications, the concept has a significant role to play in the future of financial service delivery globally.”

The e-Cedi will be rolled out on Filia, G+D’s CBDC solution which the company claims “combines the advantages of today’s cash with the needs of users in an increasingly digitized world.”

As Ghana ramps up its CBDC efforts, its neighbor Nigeria is also striving to keep up. Recent reports have revealed that the country, which is Africa’s largest economy, will classify the digital naira as “critical national infrastructure.”

Watch: CoinGeek Zurich panel, Blockchain & the Future of Africa

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