Plans are underway for the creation of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) in Eswatini.
The proposal by the Central Bank of Eswatini is to be implemented in collaboration with the international technology group, Giesecke+Devrient.
In 2020, the country’s Central Bank concluded the first phase of the CBDC Diagnostic Study.
According to the CBE, the study observed that a retail CBDC presented the strongest opportunity for the adoption of a digital currency in Eswatini.
The CBE Governor, Dr. Phil Mnisi in a statement said “The Central Bank of Eswatini has partnered with international technology group Giesecke+Devrient (G+D) to research and explore the development of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) – an electronic form of money for the Kingdom of Eswatini. Both parties signed an agreement to this effect at last week’s annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group in Washington D.C.
“G+D’s appointment stems from the completion of the 1st phase of the CBDC Diagnostic Study conducted in 2020 which found that a retail CBDC presented the strongest and direct opportunity for the adoption of a digital currency in Eswatini.
“With this agreement, the Central Bank of Eswatini (CBE) and G+D envisage to advance CBDC research efforts to gain an in-depth understanding of the practicalities on implementing a CBDC in Eswatini. CBE joins other Central Banks and regulators around the world who are exploring the potential of CBDCs to address challenges such as payment efficiency, interoperability, financial inclusion, and payment system resilience.
“To ensure that consumers continue to have access to legally backed central bank money, through the CBDC project, the Bank will investigate the possibility of issuing a Digital Lilangeni as a complement to cash. This involves a design concept of a potential digital currency in Eswatini including aspects of governance, accessibility, interoperability, security, and programmability.”