Ideas & Updates

Looking Ahead - Ethiopia launches new digital payments strategy to catalyze inclusive growth

© ©Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

Addis Ababa, 15 July 2021 – To speed up Ethiopia’s journey towards digital transformation, the Government of Ethiopia is launching today the first ever digital payments strategy to accelerate inclusive growth

The 2021-2024 strategy puts forward a bold and ambitious approach detailing how responsible digitization of payments in Ethiopia can drive greater efficiency to payments service delivery, transparency, women’s economic participation, financial inclusion, and sustained inclusive growth.

Approved by Ethiopia’s Council of Ministers, on 22nd June 2021, the strategy is spearheaded by the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE), in coordination with the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Innovation and Technology and in collaboration with key stakeholders of the Ethiopian digitization ecosystem.

The National Digital Payments Strategy (NDPS) saw the light of day thanks to the partnership with the United Nations’ Better than Cash Alliance. This strategy hinges on four pillars: developing a reliable, inclusive and interoperable infrastructure; championing adoption of digital payments; building a robust and consistent regulatory and oversight framework; and creating an enabling environment for innovation.

A new player in the digitization narrative, Ethiopia has witnessed remarkable growth in digital transactions. The state-owned operator ethio telecom said that it has managed to access six million customers in its mobile payment system, Telebirr, in a two-month operation due to rapid penetration rate and advancement of telecom services.

The NDPS will be implemented in line with ongoing reforms in Digital Ethiopia 2025 strategy in order to stimulate financial inclusion, create dignified jobs, and promote women’s economic participation to narrow the gender financial gap.

The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the importance of responsible digital payments in Ethiopia. Responsible digitization of payments can be a catalyst for building more resilient economies, with a focus on bringing greater efficiency to payments service delivery, transparency, women’s empowerment, financial inclusion, and sustained inclusive growth.

WHAT: Launch of Ethiopia’s digital payments strategy
WHERE: Radisson Blu Addis Ababa
WHEN: 15 July 2021, 8:30am (GMT+3)

Media contact details:

• National Bank of Ethiopia: Abate Mitiku, +251-913-053-610
• Better Than Cash Alliance (United Nations): Elvis Lyonga, +251 953-855 924