Southern African landlocked country, Eswatini has joined others to delve into the development of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). The Central Bank of Eswatini partnered with a German-based technology group Giesecke+Devrient (G+D) to embark on this CBDC journey together.
Invariably, this move adds the nation to the list of African countries considering the use of a digital currency.
Both entities signed an agreement during the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group. The just concluded annual meeting was held in Washington D.C. The signed agreement aims to help both parties deepen their understanding of the practicalities of implementing a CBDC in Eswatini.”
Previously, the Kingdom of Eswatini started research to explore the potential and the use cases of a CBDC. This research CBDC Diagnostic Study was conducted two years ago and was the first phase of the CBDC development process.
The study showed that “a retail CBDC presented the strongest and direct opportunity for the adoption of a digital currency in Eswatini.”
Eswatini Considers Use Cases of CBDC
Altogether, the CBDC research is designed to cover topics like payment efficiency, interoperability, financial inclusion, and payment system resilience. Dr. Wolfram Seidemann, CEO of Giesecke+Devrient Currency Technology, commented on Eswatini’s culture of productive collaborations over the years.
“The Central Bank of Eswatini and G+D have a long history of trusted collaboration that goes back more than 40 years into the early ‘80s. We are proud to extend this partnership from providing physical currency solutions to research and explore digital currency services in the future,” Dr. Seidemann stated
“The Kingdom of Eswatini is among the first African countries to take the step towards a retail CBDC and we are honored to support this journey towards digital public currency with our expertise,” he added.
While the research is ongoing, the central bank plans to make Digital Lilangeni available to citizens to complement cash currency. Eventually, the research will help Eswatini decide if the implementation of the digital currency is viable.
Similarly, a West African country Nigeria added some extra new features to its CBDC dubbed the e-Naira.