Gifty Annor-Sika Asantewah, a Financial Market Analyst, has observed that, despite the numerous benefits that come with the implementation of the e-cedi, Ghana as a country is not ready for its execution.
According to the analyst, though, Ghana is already using some form of digital currency, a mass roll out of the e-cedi will be problematic due to problems we are facing as a developing nation.
Annor-Sika explained that if you are able to sell and buy with the Visa card on eBay, on Alibaba, you are using the digital currency, but now, what the government seeks to do is to generalize it.
“The e-cedi is just like an electronic form of the Ghana Cedi. So, one e-cedi will be equal to one cedi. We are already using digital currency. We use it like ATM card, a debit or credit card. When you go to the ATM and put your card in the machine, your digital currency is now turned into liquid for you, so we are already using digital currency.”Annor-Sika
Mrs Annor-Sika, interacting with the Vaultz news, averred that the high level of illiteracy rate in the country will make it difficult for the government of Ghana to introduce and run the e-cedi effectively.
“When it comes to illiteracy, we have only almost like 20% literates in Ghana. When you say a digital currency to a makola woman, I mean, she wouldn’t know what a digital currency is. So if the educated ones are even finding it difficult, how can the others understand? We are saying 80% of the population are illiterates, so, do you think they are ready for an e-currency? Certainly not!”Annor-Sika
However, Mrs Annor-Sika Asantewah asserted that the government of Ghana, and the Bank of Ghana must come up with some comprehensive educational program to extensively educate the entire Ghanaians before the authorities even think of rolling the e-cedi out. She noted that, it is the only way to achieve effective results in terms of patronage.
“How is the education going? How many of us understand what a digital currency is? So we need more advocacy and education and training. So that we will be able to teach the people what a digital currency is, what an e-coin is.”Annor-Sika
Benefits of e-cedi Implementation to the Nation
That notwithstanding, the financial analyst highlighted some benefits that the country will derive from successful implementation of the digital currency platform. She noted that the e-cedi will reduce the amount of the physical cash in circulation and it will be replaced by smart cards.
“Now what it means is that you will be having a lot of prepaid cards, smart cards and there will be less hard copy currencies in the system. That will help us a lot, for example, recent robbery attacks on people carrying physical cash will be eliminated.
“Added to that, before you have the cards, you have to get a data with the bank. So, it will help us with the data. So that in the bigger scheme of things, like the macroeconomic formulation, our data will be able to help us formulate a lot of stuffs and it will be easy for us to do a lot of transactions.”Annor-Sika
In addition, Annor-Sika said the e-cedi will help the government to control the cedi effectively. She said the e-cedi will also help fight counterfeit.
If you have cash and someone has e-money, it’s the same thing and with the cash, people can do counterfeits, but with the e-cedi, it will have unique numbers. So, there will be no counterfeits in the country.
Mrs Annor-Sika concluded that digital currency is the best so far, because about 85% of economies in the world are in various stages of implementation. “Now, you don’t really have to go and queue in the bank and all that, you can use an app or a code to send your money across to wherever you want to send it.”
Meanwhile, she emphasized that, the government has to do more in terms of education before rolling the e-cedi out.