Partners see progress in Ethiopia’s digital finance

ADDIS ABABA – Ministry of Innovation and Technology (MoINT) claims that significant improvements have been witnessed in enhancing the contribution of digital finance system in the overall economic transformation via viable policy and strategy instruments.

Addressing a webinar discussion being held under the theme ‘Digital Transformation on the Banking Industry” recently, MoINT State Minister Ahmedin Mohamed (PhD) said that the government is creating conducive environment in policy, strategy and infrastructural development for the digital finance system and facilitate the country’s journey towards digital economy.

“Despite the establishment of enabling environment for digital finance, Ethiopia’s journey towards digital economy is slow,” Ahmedin noted, adding that the country’s digital finance transaction is less than three percent. Cognizant of this low performance, the government set vison 2025 to bring all rounded digital penetration of the economy and has been tirelessly engaged to achieve the goal.

According to him, the government also opens the opportunity and has taken various measures to enhance digital finance and amending financial proclamations with a view to including the digital finance system and other basic measures. The steps that have been taken place since 2018 has created favorable ground for the flourishment of digital finance system and stimulates the sector.

The state minister retreated government’s commitment to set up the support to digital finance taking into account the vital role the sector would play in the digital economy. Establishing a robust digital finance is one of the key priorities of the reform government. National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) Principal Payment System Oversight and Development Head Solomon Damtew said on the discussion that the current government has taken unprecedented steps in putting legal framework and expanding the infrastructure to the development of a digital finance system.

 The head highlighted that the policy and infrastructural developments on digital finance brings structural change in the finance industry. “Following the measures, 10 new companies, both operators and payment instruments, have applied to get licenses from NBE to invest in the digital finance sector and the application of the companies is at a different stage of process.”

 In addition to the structural change in the sector, banks and micro financial institutions are introducing new business policies and models to compute with the system. Though the sector shows significant developments, it still needs strong integration, new interventions and innovations as the country is working to build a digital economy, Solomon recommended.

BY DARGIE KAHSAY

The Ethiopian Herald May 23/2021

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