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24.04.2020 Feature Article

Will A Digital Ghana Cedi Save Our National Economy From Collapsing - As A Result Of The Varied Impacts Of The COVID-19 Pandemic?

Will A Digital Ghana Cedi Save Our National Economy From Collapsing - As A Result Of The Varied Impacts Of The COVID-19 Pandemic?
LISTEN APR 24, 2020

It is said that cash is King. In that sense, it is an all-conquering type of royalty, which even the most rabid of the world's anti-Monarchists, worship fervently, globally. However, if we are serious about containing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, in Ghana, then we must rid our country of as much cash as is practicable - for currency notes and coins can carry the coronavirus and many other bugs, one presumes.

Yet, as we are all aware, paper currencies cannot be washed under running tap water - said to be the most effective way of killing the COVID-19. What, then, must those who now govern our nation, do, to help stop the spread of the coronavirus across Ghana, because we do need to spend cash to ensure our survival?

With the adoption of QR codes in Ghana, perhaps we finally have the opportunity to transform our country, into a cashlite African society. What the Bank of Ghana (BoG) needs to do, to make that happen, is to create a new Digital Ghana Cedi (DGC).

Having done so, the BoG should then open digital accounts for all Ghanaian citizens, into which it should deposit DGC 250,000 onetime payments, to enable every Ghanaian pay for a property - in new planned green cities across Ghana: which will replace our country's many urban slums that will otherwise remain hotspots of all manner of viruses and dangerous pathogens, which could wipe us all out, someday. Cool.

They can be repaid over whatever lengthy period is needed to do so - with monthly mortgage payments of DGC200 only, in the case of the most vulnerable individuals, financially: till the principle sum is repaid. There must also be a waiver of all interest payments.

The beauty of such an empowering economic initiative, is that it will prevent eventual economic collapse from the much-needed, lifesaving lockdowns - which incidentally could also be made bearable, for the citizenry, with DGC2500 paid into those selfsame digital accounts all Ghanaians will have with the BoG, every month a lockdown order persists.

The question we must ponder over is: Would such an initiative by the BoG, during the COVID-19 crisis, help launch our move into a truly cashlite-digital-economy, and make it possible for Ghanaians to spend those monthly DGC250O payments paying tro-tro mates, as well as tomato, onion and other foodstuff sellers, in markets across Ghana using QR codes - and finally make it possible for Ghana to be transformed into an African equivalent of the egalitarian societies of Scandinavia?

The time has definitely come for the BoG to roll out a digital Ghana cedi - for it will eventually help save our national economy from collapsing: as a result of the varied impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Cool.

Kofi Thompson
Kofi Thompson, © 2020

The author has 624 publications published on Modern Ghana.Column: KofiThompson

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