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Zimbabwe’s Proposed Regulatory Sandbox Reveals Rapid Growth of Fintech in Africa

Tochukwu Egesi
Tochukwu Egesi

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has revealed plans to launch a Regulatory Sandbox Framework later this year, according to its mid-term policy statement. The sandbox will be part of measures to promote the adoption of financial technologies in the country.

The Bank is set to operationalise the Regulatory Sandbox Framework after a consultative process with major stakeholders. The framework will be issued to the market for comments before being finalised and rolled out later in the year,” the statement read.

According to the RBZ, “the framework will outline the qualification, application and evaluation criterion for entities to be admitted into the sandbox. The sandbox provides an opportunity for innovators to connect to banks and other financial system players.”

Zimbabwe will be joining Kenya, Mauritius, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Mozambique and Nigeria as one of the African Countries to draft Sandbox Regulations which have either been launched or are still in the design phase.

Very recently, the Central Bank of Nigeria also released its CBN regulatory sandbox draft framework to control innovation in Nigeria’s fintech space. The Nigerian fintech sandbox also didn’t accept cryptocurrency solutions as crypto are not recognised as legal tender.

Summary

Regulatory sandboxes usually operate for short periods and are still only emerging in Africa’s developing countries. It is however important to stress that while the governments and central banks of these countries seek to monitor and regulate fintech innovation, they do not end up suppressing their prospects and may want to reconsider incorporating cryptocurrency and blockchain services.

Financial inclusionDigital inclusion

Tochukwu Egesi

Financial Services Strategy & Digital Economy Specialist (Scribing in Personal Capacity)