The Ethiopian government, through the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE), has formally kicked off the process of implementing the Hone of Africa country’s national digital payment strategy. According to media reports, the strategy has been in the formulation phase for over a year, a process that has been conducted with the support of the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF).
The strategy comprises of four pillars, while mapping out a three-year action plan. These include: developing a reliable, inclusive, and interoperable infrastructure; building a consistent regulatory oversight framework; and creating an enabling environment innovation are among its goals.
(TOP: A customer withdraws cash from Commercial Bank of Ethiopia).
The country’s central bank, the NBE, has also prioritised the procurement of efficient ATM and PoS interoperability, revitalising digital retail payment systems, strengthening consumer protection and cybersecurity, and digitising government and state-owned-enterprise payment modalities.
“The strategy also aims to extend digitisation to the agricultural sector, although this is given a lower priority due to its perceived unpreparedness,” reports Addis Fortune. “There have already been significant strides made towards enhancing digital payments, according to central bank officials. E-receipt and electronic payment directives have already taken force while a legal framework allowing fintech companies to take part in financial service provision has been in effect for a year.”