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Central Bank of Eswatini moves to introduce digital currency

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As the list of countries with digital currency increases, the Kingdom of Eswatini (formerly known as Swaziland) has said that it is introducing a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

The apex bank of the South African country said it has employed the services of a technology group based in Germany – Giesecke+Devrient (G+D) – to research and explore the possibilities of a digital version of Eswatini currency, Lilangeni, in a way of complementing the country’s fiat.

“The Central Bank of Eswatini is delighted to have engaged G+D as a technical consultant to walk with us in our journey as we explore and formulate the foundational policy considerations and use cases of a localized CBDC. We are confident that G+D’s technological expertise and their strong regional presence in our continent will allow us to realize all possible advantages of a Digital Lilangeni and ensure we’re fully equipped to issue a CBDC in the future,” Central Bank of Eswatini (CBE) Governor, Dr. Phil Mnisi said.

Eswatini’s apex bank noted that the partnership with G+D on the CBDC project will involve processes like the design of the digital currency, as well as the governance, accessibility, interoperability, security and programmability of the potential digital currency.

The CBE said the project has already gone through the first phase of the CBDC Diagnostic study, where the results shows this as “the strongest and direct opportunity for the adoption of a digital currency in Eswatini.”

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In the past, G+D has worked with Ghana on the country’s CBDC. It also worked with the Nigerian Central Bank to develop the e-naira, which was introduced in October, 2021. The e-naira had gone ahead to be used for transactions worth ₦4 billion as at August, 2022.

The adoption of digital currencies has recently been receiving widespread reception across the globe, and African countries are not left behind the cart. Countries like Kenya, Namibia, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia are among the African countries that are making moves to introduce digital currencies to complement their national currencies.

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