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Several African Central Banks Are Exploring Digital Currencies to Enhance Payment Systems.

As Africa strives towards financial inclusion, several countries in the continent are currently exploring the use of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs). CBDCs are digital forms of a country’s sovereign currency, issued and controlled by its central bank. Following the launch of Nigeria’s e-Naira in late 2021, Ghana and South Africa have initiated pilot programs for CBDCs, with other nations in the research stage.

The World Bank reports that about 350 million African adults lack access to formal financial services. CBDCs could serve as an effective tool to bridge this gap, especially if designed for offline use, thus connecting the unbanked population to the financial system.

Furthermore, with Sub-Saharan Africa being the costliest region for sending and receiving money—nearly 8% of the transaction amount—CBDCs have the potential to simplify, accelerate, and reduce the cost of remittances. Expediting cross-border payments would also help boost trade both within the region and with the rest of the world. by expediting cross-border payments.

However, effective implementation of CBDCs in Africa will require sufficient investments and careful planning from policymakers. This includes improving access to digital infrastructure, enhancing cybersecurity measures, and establishing robust regulatory frameworks to ensure the successful adoption and utilization of CBDCs across the continent.

Source: International Monetary Fund

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