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MANZINI - Just after the King made a call for the revival of the nation’s first world dream, the Central Bank of Eswatini (CBE) has launched a digital currency.

The Central Bank digital currency was launched by CBE Governor Phil Mnisi at the bank’s stall at Mavuso Trade and Exhibition Centre yesterday. On top of that, the governor also introduced a newly-printed E200, with improved security features. During the launch, Mnisi said as a bank, they were transitioning to Central Bank digital currency and their aim was to give technology a platform.

He said they were putting money in a plastic card, which he said would have the same value and urged emaSwati to have confidence in it as they have it with currency in notes. He added that some countries were already using digital currency and in the country, it would improve financial inclusion and achieve cross-border payments. He said with the plastic card, one could pay anywhere for anything, just like they do when using cash.


Currently, he said they would pilot the digital currency, while at the same time conducting researches by taking public opinions on how best it could be used. He said the Central Bank digital currency was backed by the CBE reserves, unlike crypto currencies which were not backed by central bank’s reserves, but private owners. He added that unlike crypto currencies, which had high risks, the Central Bank digital currency had no risks because it was backed by the CBE reserves.

Again, he said it was different from bank cards because they were backed by individual’s deposits in the bank.
Furthermore, the governor said the digital currency they were launching would make life and banking easier, safer and cheaper in terms of bank charges. He said more information about the digital banking would be unpacked in due course.

Mnisi added that they were also working on developing a Domestic National Switch, which would allow clearing and transfer of money locally, unlike now where money transfers go via South Africa for approval. He said with this programme, the country would have modern means of payment and people could use applications like PayPal, among others, which allow international transfers.

On the other hand, when introducing the newly-printed E200 note, the governor said newly-printed money had Central Bank of Eswatini instead of Central Bank of Swaziland. He said on the portrait of His Majesty King Mswati III the ligcebesha (necklace) fully appears, yet on the old note, it was cut.


In terms of improved security features, he said when one could try to print a copy of the newly-printed E200 note, it would just turn black. Another changes, he said, were that it also had signatures of the current CBE government and reigning minister of Finance. However, he clarified that the other E200 notes, which have signatures of former CBE governors and ministers (of Finance) were still circulation. Moreover, the governor encouraged the nation to take care of the notes. He said they should avoid folding them anyhow when putting them in their pockets. Instead, he said they should fold it nicely so that it could last longer and circulate to a wider population.