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Ghana VP: Blockchain could save Africa billions of dollars

Ghana intends to become the first African country whose government runs on the blockchain, Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia said.

Bawumia spoke at a regional anti-corruption event held in the capital, Accra. As local media reports, he touched on the current administration’s initiatives, from digitizing public services and passport applications to launching the new GhanaCard identity card.

He singled out blockchain as the technology that will transform Ghana and called on the rest of Africa to implement it to stamp out the corruption that has plagued the region for decades.

Despite a dip in rankings, Ghana has consistently ranked as one of Africa’s least corrupt nations since the current administration took over in 2017. However, Bawumia believes the West African country can do better, stating that blockchain’s transparency could end corruption.

The vice president noted that Ghana loses billions of dollars annually to corrupt officials, derailing the government’s development agenda. Digitalization is the best solution, and through blockchain and other initiatives, Ghana can weed out corruption.

central bank digital currency (CBDC) could further aid the fight against corruption, added Bawumia. The Ghanaian Central Bank (BOG) has been working on the e-cedi for years and was, at one point, the most advanced in Africa before Nigeria took over and launched the eNaira. BOG has cited financial inclusion as the key reason for introducing a CBDC.

“The e-Cedi will be our ultimate weapon in our fight against corruption because it will make it easy to track the movements of money and identify suspicious activities,” the VP told the attendees.

While Ghana may use its CBDC to track money flow, legislators and central bankers in other countries have been at odds for years over the level of access central banks should have to users’ spending habits.

Privacy proponents have opposed any CBDC that allows the government to spy on the citizens; in some countries like the United States, some states have already passed legislation that bars CBDC use as they can’t trust that the government will ensure privacy.

Watch: Tech redefines how things are done—Africa is here for it

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