Report: Zimbabwe Tertiary Learning Institution Developing Central Bank Digital Currency

Harare Institute of Technology, a Zimbabwean higher learning institution, is reportedly developing a central bank digital currency (CBDC). Quinton Kanhukamwe, the institution’s vice chancellor, said the digital currency is expected to help eliminate vices such as currency manipulation and unsanctioned foreign exchange deals.

Eliminating Illegal Foreign Exchange Deals

A Zimbabwean tertiary learning institution, the Harare Institute of Technology (HIT) is developing a central bank digital currency (CBDC), the organization’s vice chancellor Quinton Kanhukamwe has said. According to Kanhukamwe, the envisaged CBDC is expected to help eliminate vices such as currency manipulation, the hoarding of cash, as well as illegal foreign exchange deals.

As per his remarks published by the Herald, Kanhukamwe, who spoke at a graduation ceremony also attended by Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa, revealed how the blockchain-anchored CBDC can potentially bring the unbanked into the formal banking system. He said:

Many at times, the unbanked population believe that the traditional financial sector is only there to rip off all their earnings. It [CBDC] has the capacity to reduce significantly the regulatory costs for central banks thus reducing the transactional costs that will ultimately reduce the costs of service. As a result, there is [a] significant reduction in fees.

Reducing Money Printing Costs

The vice chancellor added that once formal banking services are available to the unbanked population, this can potentially set off a chain reaction that will result in increased business for small-to-medium enterprises. Using a CBDC will help the central bank reduce the cost of printing money, Kanhukamwe added.

In its last monetary policy statement, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) said it had developed a roadmap for the CBDC. The central bank said it would unveil a public consultation paper which it said would foster “a broad and transparent public dialogue regarding the potential benefits and risks of CBDC.”

Similar to its previous updates about the CBDC, the RBZ’s latest statement doesn’t state the date when the central bank is hoping to roll out the CBDC. The statement also didn’t state if the RBZ is working with another entity towards this objective. Still, the report in the Herald appeared to suggest that HIT may be developing the CBDC for the central bank.

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