UPDATE 1-Ghana to pilot digital currency, central bank says

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ACCRA, Aug 11 (Reuters) - Ghana will pilot a general purpose digital currency in partnership with German banknote printer Giesecke+Devrient, the central bank and the company said on Wednesday.

The pilot programme will serve as a precursor to the issuance of a digital form of Ghana’s national currency to be called the ‘e-Cedi’, they said in a joint statement.

The digital currency will be tested in a trial phase with banks, payment service providers and consumers.

The central bank hopes the new currency will serve as an alternative to physical cash and strengthen Ghana’s push to digitise its national payment infrastructure.

“From all indications, the concept has a significant role to play in the future of financial service delivery globally,” Ernest Addison, Ghana’s bank governor, said in the statement.

“This project is a significant step towards positioning Ghana to take full advantage of this emerging concept.” (Reporting by Bate Felix and Christian Akorlie; writing by Cooper Inveen; editing by Jason Neely and Anil D’Silva)