Ghana Central Bank Announces Launch of Regulatory Sandbox

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Ghana’s recently launched regulatory and innovation sandbox is the latest proof of the central bank’s commitment to a regulatory environment that promotes “innovation, financial inclusion and financial stability,” a statement released by the Bank of Ghana has said. According to the central bank, innovations that are eligible for inclusion in the sandbox include digital financial […]

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Ghana’s recently launched regulatory and innovation sandbox is the latest proof of the central bank’s commitment to a regulatory environment that promotes “innovation, financial inclusion and financial stability,” a statement released by the Bank of Ghana has said. According to the central bank, innovations that are eligible for inclusion in the sandbox include digital financial service technology which is deemed to be new or “immature.”

Fostering ‘Innovation and Financial Stability’

The Ghanaian central bank has touted the recently launched regulatory and innovation sandbox as a fulfillment of its “commitment to continuously evolve a conducive regulatory environment that fosters innovation, financial inclusion and financial stability.” The bank added that the sandbox will help the Bank of Ghana (BOG) better understand innovative products while allowing “for potential improvements to legal and regulatory requirements to encapsulate emerging technologies.”

According to the bank’s statement, the sandbox, which was developed in conjunction with Emtech Solutions Inc, is open to all regulated financial institutions in Ghana. Unlicensed fintech startups whose innovative products meet the regulatory requirements are also eligible for the sandbox environment.

As per the central bank’s press statement, some of the qualifying innovations include digital financial service technology that is deemed to be new or immature. Also potentially qualifying for the sandbox are disruptive digital financial services products or solutions that attempt to address the “persistent financial inclusion challenge.”

Financial Inclusion in Ghana

On why the sandbox is needed, the central bank’s press release explains:

Bank of Ghana through this initiative, affirms its commitment to provide the enabling environment for innovation to promote financial inclusion and facilitate Ghana’s digitization and cash-lite agenda. With support from FSD Africa, we will engage various stakeholders including industry groups, associations and innovation hubs.

The central bank’s statement in the meantime touched on the BOG’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) project which has the “potential of boosting innovation in digital financial service.” When “mainstreamed” the CBDC or “e-cedi” can potentially further enhance the digitalization of Ghana’s financial sector, the statement said.

Concerning blockchain technology, the BOG claimed its decision to admit “a blockchain solution” during the sandbox pilot phase is proof of its “commitment to innovation.”

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