Ethiopia’s National Digital Payments Strategy 2021-2024

An inclusive digital payment ecosystem is a key enabler to make Digital Ethiopia a reality by 2025 and advance the Sustainable Development Goals

Ethiopia’s National Digital Payments Strategy (NDPS) 2021-2024 details an ambitious approach on how responsible digitization of payments in the country can drive greater efficiency to payments service delivery, transparency, women’s economic participation, financial inclusion, and sustained inclusive growth.

Developed in partnership with the Better Than Cash Alliance, the strategy presents a roadmap through which the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) will transform the payment ecosystem and help build a cash-lite and more financially inclusive economy. The NDPS is a key component of the NBE’s plan for modernizing Ethiopia’s national retail payment system.

The NDPS is based on four strategic pillars, around which effective partnership between public and private sector actors is vital:

  • Developing a reliable, inclusive and interoperable infrastructure.
  • Championing adoption of digital payments.
  • Building a robust and consistent regulatory and oversight framework.
  • Creating an enabling environment for innovation.

The NDPS also identifies four “enablers” which—together with the four strategic pillars—form the foundation of the strategy:

  • Committing to an efficient, reliable, and safe national payment system.
  • Prioritizing and investing in capacity-building across the digital payment ecosystem.
  • Guaranteeing active and ongoing coordination with national development reforms and policies.
  • Building a robust governance and implementation plan, and monitoring success using key performance indicators (KPIs).