Mobile money has been a strong competitor to central bank digital currency (CBDC) in Africa, but many of the continent’s central bankers have greater faith in CBDC, according to a Bank for International Settlements (BIS) report published Nov. 24. African central bankers also saw greater utility in CBDC for implementing monetary policy than bankers in other parts of the world, according to the BIS.
Nineteen African central banks responded to the survey that served as a basis for the report, and all of them stated that they were actively interested in CBDC. Only Nigeria has issued a retail CBDC, the eNaira, meant for public use, while Ghana has a retail CBDC project in the pilot stage, and South Africa is currently running a project for a wholesale CBDC, meant for institutional use.
A new survey with 19 African central banks shows that the main concern regarding #CBDCs is cybersecurity, even more than elsewhere. High operational burden for the central bank is also a bigger concern than in other regions https://t.co/FzkCq5POOD pic.twitter.com/XqYHjRwyRv
— Bank for International Settlements (@BIS_org) November 24, 2022
The provision of cash was listed by African central bankers as a major motivation for the introduction of a CBDC for 48% of respondents. A CBDC would save money on the printing, transportation and storage of banknotes and coins, they said. Financial inclusion was mentioned by all respondents. Less than half the adult African population was banked in 2021.