BoG piloting offline version of eCedi – Governor

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Despite surge in inflation in recent months prompting expectations of another increase in policy rate, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank of Ghana has, in an unexpected turn of events, pressed the pause button on the rate increment.

The central bank is currently piloting an offline version of the eCedi to be used for consecutive payments in areas yet to be connected to digital and Internet infrastructure, Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison, has said.

He said though BoG’s digitisation agenda through roll-out of the eCedi is steadily progressing, the bank deems it necessary to test an offline version of the eCedi that can be used for consecutive payments between individuals and merchants where there is no connectivity infrastructure, just like cash.

Dr. Addison was speaking at the 6th Ghana CEO Summit in Accra on the theme ‘Digital leadership for digital economy’, and said digitising the offline transactions of rural and frontier households holds the key to creating necessary market linkages that can result in access to finance in the future.

“So far, usage and uptake of the eCedi offline version is being piloted in Sefwi Asafo in the Western North Region, where select users in that community have been using it for daily purchases such as for food, groceries and drinks,” he disclosed.

The central bank emphasised its commitment to work with these users to obtain the critical usage data that will inform decisions about the eCedi’s future after the pilot.

“These are clearly landmark events in providing digital leadership with the payment systems subsector so as to lead a digitised economy in the near-future,” Dr. Addison said.

He said the bank remains confident that ongoing policy efforts should help re-anchor inflation expectations, restore confidence in the economy and ensure businesses operate in an environment of stability, adding, “we’ll work assiduously to ensure inflation stability”.

Indeed, the eCedi is part of plans to impact the country’s digitisation drive and leverage it for government services. The eCedi is to complement the cedi, serve as an alternative to physical cash and promote the ‘cashlite agenda’.

The 6th Ghana CEO Summit brought together CEOs, entrepreneurs, business leaders, board members, investors, directors-general, ambassadors, ministers of state, consultants and policymakers.

The summit discussed innovative and actionable solutions, championed private sector growth, led discussions around game-changing public policies, and advocated for best growth-oriented practices.

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