Workshop Organised by the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation and the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) Explores Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC) and its Impact on Inter-Regional Trade

JEDDAH, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, February 18, 2021/APO Group/ —
In collaboration with the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO), the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) (www.ITFC-IDB.org), a member of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group, organized a virtual workshop on the trends and developments in CBDC and its potential impact on driving inter-regional trade between West African countries and internationally. The workshop highlighted the growing interest of Central Banks in digital currencies across the globe and was aimed at exploring how BCEAO can adopt CBDC into its operations.

Speakers included Matthieu Saint Olive of ConsenSys; David Wray and Willy Lim of R3; Harold Bosse, Sébastien Le Callonnec, Kamran Shahin and Arn Vogels of Mastercard; Pascal Ordonneau, former CEO of HSBC Invoice Financing; and Erin English and Catherine Gu of Visa.

The experts addressed key trends in the integration of CBDC into mainstream finance, exploring a range of themes and topics including policy, security, legal and regulatory considerations. They explored the impact on the global banking system and the role of commercial banks, impact on FX reserves and the need to educate the wider public. The panel also highlighted the potential benefits of digital currencies, which include greater financial inclusion, integrity and stability, operational efficiency, and monetary policy effectiveness.

Highlighting the importance of the workshop, Nazeem Noordali, ITFC COO, said: “The 4th industrial revolution will change the face of the traditional monetary system as we know it. Technology is already reshaping the way trade is being conducted, creating new and vast opportunities for greater efficiencies and impact. ITFC firmly believes in the potential of digital currencies in boosting trade and driving greater financial inclusion and stability in the developing world.

Madame Justine Amenan Tano Beugre, Advisor to the Director General of the West African Center for Training and Banking Studies (COFEB), a division of BCEAO, noted that the Bank was of the same view as evidenced by the organisation of a press conference last December themed ‘Emergence of Cryptomoney: Fears and Controversies’, and moderated by Professor Michel Ruimy, a world-renowned expert in the field.

“It is important to stress that the BCEAO attaches particular interest to technological and financial innovations, considered as essential levers to strengthen financial inclusion. Also, like of the main central banks, our issuing institute is concerned about digital developments to be considered in the context of monetary issuance. This workshop therefore offers the opportunity to explore the issuance of the digital currency in a theoretical and practical way, but also discuss the implications for monetary policy and financial stability”, said Beugre.

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