Ghana’s Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia believes that African governments need to adopt digital currencies to facilitate trade across the continent.
As reported by Ghanaweb, Bawumia outlined his arguments during the fifth Ghana International Trade and Finance Conference, which addressed the topic “Facilitating Trade and Trade-Finance in AfCFTA; The role of the financial services sector. ”He argued that trade between African countries requires a“ unified centralized payment system ”. Currently, moving goods across African borders is costly and time consuming. A digital payment system, believes Dr. Bawumia, would fix these problems.
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“Digitization has also become one of the most consistent policies of the Nana Akufo-Addo government,” said Dr. Bawumia.
“When the scourge of the COVID-19 pandemic hit many economies and forced a partial and complete lockdown, this increased the need to continue digitization.”
The Vice President also spoke about Ghana’s recent payment initiatives, such as Mobile Money Interoperability. Dr. Bawumia notes that these services “show that more people can be financially involved and this needs to be rolled out across Africa to ensure the growth of the AfCFTA vision”.
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Earlier this year, the Bank of Ghana (BoG) announced that it had a central bank digital currency (CBDC) under development. Dr. Bawumia took note of the bank’s intent and believes it will add credibility to the country in the digital space.
African countries have long been researching crypto and other forms of digital currency. Nigeria is planning its own CBDC called GIANT, due to launch this October, even after its central bank banned financial institutions from collaborating with crypto exchanges. Tanzania, which banned cryptocurrencies back in 2019, plans to reverse its course and implement crypto-positive regulation after its president Samia Suluhu Hassan spoke positively about Bitcoin.