In an effort to modernize payment structures, the Bank of Central African States (Banque des Etats de I’Afrique) has been urged to adopt a central bank digital currency (CBDC). The board, in an email, called for the bank to promote regional financial inclusion.
The Bank of Central African States oversees Cameroon, the Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon, as well as the Republic of Congo. In April 2022, the CAR passed a bill adopting Bitcoin as legal tender but has not recognized a CBDC. CAR President Faustin-Archange Touadera made an announcement in June that the country would be adopting the Sango project – a crypto initiative that includes a legal crypto hub and special economic zone in the metaverse.
The Bank of Central African States had criticized CAR for accepting Bitcoin as legal tender. It said the bill was problematic and could have a sustained negative impact on the monetary union of Central Africa. The central bank in Nigeria was one of the first in the region to launch a CBDC called eNaira in October 2021. South Africa’s Reserve Bank is looking into the CBDC through its Project Khokha initiative.
Reports highlighted that sub-Saharan African nation could face challenges introducing cryptocurrencies and CBDCs to areas with limited access to electricity – for mining and transfers. The CAR and Chad, as per World Bank’s 2020 data, rank among the lowest percentages of the population with access to electricity at 15.5% and 11.1%, respectively. Overall, Africa is one of the fastest-growing digital asset markets in the world.