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The Roadmap for Adoption of CBDC in Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe

Zimbabwean central bank, RBZ sketches a plan for development of its CBDC, hires tech contractors.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has developed a roadmap for the adoption of an envisaged digital currency almost six months after announcing its intention to explore the possibility of its launch. The roadmap is in line with the government’s decision on the CBDC, adopted in November 2021.

According to the bank’s governor John Mangudya, the RBZ seeks to study the opinion of all interested parties. For this purpose, a specially developed public consultation paper on CBDC will be published soon. Its goal is to promote public dialogue regarding the benefits and risks of CBDC. Within 90 days, the public will be able to comment on the consultation paper. Besides, the RBZ will “carry-out consumer perception surveys on CBDC”. After these two undertakings the RBZ will be able to engage in pilot programs related to CBDC.

John Mangudya also revealed that two fintech firms (Llyod Crowd Funding and Uhuru Innovative Solutions) had been accepted into the fintech regulatory sandbox. Llyod Crowd Funding has already started its activity in the sandbox that will run until 2023 and Uhuru Innovative Solutions is expected to launch regulatory testing soon.

It is expected that results from the regulatory testing will provide the RBZ with important evidence in the formation of an appropriate regulatory framework for financial technology in Zimbabwe.

Many African central banks have followed the trend for CBDC research. There is also a leading eNaira case of Nigeria. As we observed in Kenya's case, however, the approaches and the objectives could be different.