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Zimbabwe making significant strides in digital transformation: World Bank

HARARE, (The Southern African Times) – Zimbabwe has made digital advancements, including a revolution in mobile money which has resulted in about 7.67 million mobile wallet holders in a country of 14.5 million people, according to a new Zimbabwe Digital Economy Diagnostic report launched by the World Bank Thursday.

This puts Zimbabwe among the leaders on the African continent in the use of mobile money.

According to the report, the first-ever in the country, Zimbabwe has a relatively well-developed digital payment system, where 96 percent of all transactions in the country’s formal sector are conducted through digital means and only 4 percent are cash-based, with the government using digital money almost exclusively.

Despite these advances, Zimbabwe is currently capturing only a fraction of its digital transformation growth potential, and the report recommends strategic investments in digital skills and infrastructure, and that the creation of digital platforms and digital entrepreneurship be accelerated to create the foundations for the digital economy of the future.

“We recognize the potential for digital technologies to help pave the way forward and are therefore focusing on the development of the key digital pillars that will underpin the growth of our economy,” said Misheck Sibanda, chief secretary to the President and Cabinet.

Mukami Kariuki, World Bank country manager for Zimbabwe, said Zimbabwe is well-positioned to reap significant dividends from a digital transformation.

To achieve the desired results, however, strategic action is required to strengthen the policy and regulatory framework; resource management and coordination; governance and transparency; and capacity building, she said.

“A strong digital foundation is the key to the realization of the government’s vision for smart government, agriculture, health, trade, commerce, education, transport, and cities,” she added.

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