The Ministry of Technology and Science has announced that it is testing technology to regulate crypto as Zambia embarks on its mission to become a regional hub. According to the Technology and Science Minister Felix Mutati, the testing will be done through the Security Exchange Commission and Bank of Zambia.
He opined that, “Cryptocurrency will be a driver for financial inclusion and a change maker for Zambia’s economy.”
Mutati argued that cryptocurrencies are a revolutionary technology, as well as “the future the country desires to achieve.” However, in order to accomplish that, there needs to be a policy framework put in place to support it.
Per the announcement, “Zambia is putting in place appropriate digital infrastructure, attracting investments in technology and creating access thereby positioning itself to be a hub of technology in the region.”
According to the Minister, the technology testing for crypto regulation will be upscaled “in due course as part of deliberate measures to achieve an inclusive digital economy” for the south-central African country.
This type of technology, argued the press release, will enable much higher financial inclusion for the nation’s people. The citizens will become a part of digital finance, they’ll be able to use the available services, and with this, crypto will drive further financial inclusion and economic change.
Zambian government aims to reach over $4.7 million in digital payments, which it sees as significant for the economy.
Mutati stated that, “Zambia has created magnetism that attracts investments and it is one of the countries in Africa that is becoming a must-be place for investment.”
Africa’s on a crypto roll
At the end of July 2018, Trevor Kaunda, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Land and Natural Resources in Zambia, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Overstock’s blockchain land registry subsidiary. Per the deal, Overstock’s Medici Land Governance would partner with the Zambian government to reform land ownership, enabling local rural landowners to receive digital ownership certificates and access to the financial markets, as well as credit and public services.
That’s far from all. Nations across multiple parts of the African continent have turned toward testing technologies such as crypto, blockchain, central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), and stablecoins for various purposes, commonly greater financial inclusion and economic development, as well as simplified, streamlined, and transparent processes.
In the last year alone, among other examples, we saw Central African Republic (CAR) adopting Bitcoin as legal tender – becoming only the second country in the world (after El Salvador) and the first African nation to do so.
Soon after that, CAR President Faustin-Archange Touadéra said that the nation was readying to launch a new crypto project, dubbed Sango, as the first crypto initiative designed to strengthen the country’s image as an emerging African crypto hub. In July, authorities unveiled the Sango Coin, launched as the country’s national cryptocurrency.
Meanwhile, Kenya’s energy production company KenGen adopted a green approach to crypto in June, declaring plans to offer its surplus geothermal power to BTC mining companies. The energy business said that providing clean energy would help industry players meet their energy needs while contributing to cutting carbon emissions triggered by bitcoin mining.
In September, major crypto exchange Binance expanded its presence in Africa by launching a partnership with Nigeria’s authorities to build a Dubai-like digital economic zone.
Also recently, a report by the Central Bank of Nigeria urged the development of a regulatory framework for initial coin offerings (ICOs) and the potential usage of stablecoins. The report noted that stablecoins are likely to become a successful payment mechanism in the country. It also discussed the development of the country’s CBDC, the eNaira.