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No need for single currency in Africa, MoMo interoperability the best option – Bawumia

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Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia is proposing a policy shift in the adoption of a single currency among African countries. Instead, he suggests interconnected payment platforms, including interoperable Mobile Money service, as a far better alternative to bridging the financial divide and boosting intra-Africa trade. African leaders have been focusing solely on macroeconomic stability across the continent as a key factor in the use of a common currency.

However, Dr Bawumia argues that Africa’s inability to meet the economic convergence criteria for the rollout of a homogeneous currency to boost cross-border trade indicates that a seamless payment regime can only be achieved through financial interoperability systems.

“Making mobile money interoperable allows our citizens across the continent to trade seamlessly and so this is where I believe as African countries we need to focus on. One of the common problems of achieving a common currency was the difficulty of our respective countries in achieving the macro-economic convergence.”

“The idea of a common currency which came in 1963 has really been overtaken by the digital payment age that today you can think about mobile money as a common currency. If we make it interoperable, we don’t need to have the common currency before we get the benefits.”

Dr. Bawumia made this call as the guest speaker at the opening of the Continental Mobile Interoperability Symposium organized by the Africa Prosperity Network in Accra. It was held under the theme, Scaling-up interoperability, Using Mobile Money to Buy and Sell.

“I believe that If we are serious about it, we can work towards mobile money Interoperability at the continental stage and, therefore, we should move away in this regard from the macro-economic convergence criteria to digital payment convergence criteria,” the Vice President added.

Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr Ernest Addison on his part acknowledged that a harmonized regulatory framework and partnerships among players in the digital space remain a pivot to achieve broad financial sector inclusion and inter-trade in Africa.

Source: Citi Newsroom

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