Unlike President Akufo-Addo who promised to tackle corruption with the Anas principle –undercover investigations, sometimes using entrapment, –Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has promised to ameliorate the canker with a cashless society.
He believes building a cashless society will help remove the many bottlenecks in the various state institutions.
He explained in detail at the UPSA during his address to lay out his vision for Ghana, how his digitalisation drive will help curb corruption through a cashless society.
“I entered politics to serve the nation. My passion is solving problems. My passion is helping the poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged in society. Accumulation of wealth is not and has never been my passion or ambition. This why throughout my public life I have pursued policies, especially through digitalization, to check corruption in places like the ports, DVLA, NHIS, Passport Office, CAGD, etc. So I have a solid track record in fighting corruption. And I have earned a reputation for doing so.
“One of the most potent weapons against corruption is transparency. Many corrupt activities are cash-based. Apart from the obvious economic benefits of moving in the direction of a cashless society, the literature does indicate that the more electronic payments are used in transactions as opposed to cash, the more there is traceability and therefore the less the corruption. I would like to bring Ghana close to a cashless economy in the shortest possible time. So far the Bank of Ghana, has made a lot of progress in this direction by putting in place a lot of the systems and infrastructure required. These include mobile money interoperability, merchant interoperability, Universal QRCode payment system, Gh-Link, debit cards, Ezwich, and GhanaPay. We have put in place the necessary infrastructure for Ghana to go cashless.
“Recently the Bank of Ghana has completed a pilot of a digital version of the Ghana cedi note in Sefwi Wiawso. This is known as central bank digital currency (CBDC) or e-cedi. The e-cedi is designed to work online and offline and will be launched by the Bank of Ghana in due couse. In my humble opinion, the e-cedi, with appropriate privacy protections, will be the ultimate weapon in our fight against corruption because it will provide transparency, reduce the risk of fraud, robbery, tax avoidance, and money laundering since it will be easy to track the movement of money and identify suspicious activity. The e-cedi will quicken the pace of Ghana’s move towards a cashless or near cashless society.
“To move towards a cashless economy however, we have to encourage the population to use electronic channels of payment. To accomplish this, there will be no taxes on digital payments under my administration. The e-levy will therefore be abolished.
“Furthermore, I will cause to be published online details of all public contracts for public scrutiny.”