The Chronicle: World Bank tips Zimbabwe for sound digital economy
THE World Bank says Zimbabwe’s digital financial services are the strongest foundation for further development of the digital economy in the country.
The World Bank in partnership with the Office of the President and Cabinet launched the new Zimbabwe Digital Economy Diagnostic report last week showcasing how digital transformation is a key enabler of long-term resilient growth in Zimbabwe.
The latest digital diagnostic report says Zimbabwe has made digital advancements including a revolution in mobile money resulting in about 7,1 million mobile wallet holders in a country of about 15 million people.
The country 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 four are cash-based, and the Government uses digital money almost exclusively.
Despite these advances, Zimbabwe is capturing only a fraction of its digital transformation growth potential and the report recommends strategic investments in digital skills and infrastructure as well as accelerated creation of digital platforms and digital entrepreneurship to create the foundations for the digital economy.
“The Zimbabwe Digital Economy Diagnostic, a new report produced by the World Bank, has found out that the country’s digital financial services are the strongest foundation for the further development of the digital economy,” said the World Bank (WB) in a post-launch statement.
The report maps out strengths and limitations that characterise the national digital economy ecosystem. It identifies the challenges and opportunities for future growth in Zimbabwe with respect to five pillars that together form the foundation for digital transformation.
Zimbabwe has already mainstreamed the digital economic revolution among the 14 key thematic areas under the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1-2021-2025) blueprint.
During the launch, World Bank country manager for Zimbabwe, Mrs Mukami Kariuki, was quoted as saying: “As noted by the report, Zimbabwe is well-positioned to reap significant dividends from a digital transformation.
“However, to achieve the desired results, strategic action is required to strengthen the policy and regulatory framework, resource management and coordination, governance and transparency and capacity building.
“A strong digital foundation is key to the realisation of Government’s vision for smart agriculture, health, trade, commerce, education, transport and cities.”
As the digital agenda cuts across various sectors, the report’s key recommendations underscore the need for collaboration and coordination across Government ministries, departments and agencies.
Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Dr Misheck Sibanda, was quoted as saying: “We recognise the potential for digital technologies to help pave the way forward and are therefore focusing on development of the key digital pillars that will underpin the growth of our economy.”
The World Bank has said while implementing the recommendations requires capital investment to expand and improve infrastructure and services, it also requires attention to binding policy, legislative or regulatory constraints.
The report further notes that despite challenges arising from the ongoing pandemic and economic recession, Zimbabwe can forge a path toward digital transformation through careful sequencing and prioritisation of essential reforms.
Ahead of the “OPEC +” meeting, Brent rises near $ 70 a barrel
Oil prices rose today, Tuesday, ahead of a meeting of the “OPEC +” alliance, and supported by hopes of growth in fuel demand in the coming months, with the start of the summer driving season in the United States, the largest consumer of oil in the world.
The global benchmark Brent crude futures for August delivery rose 56 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $69.88 a barrel by 01:25 GMT.
US West Texas Intermediate crude contracts rose $1.01, or 1.5 percent, to $67.33 a barrel.
A source in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said the organization and its allies, a grouping known as OPEC +, will likely stick to the current pace of gradually reducing production curbs at Tuesday’s meeting, while producers balance expectations of a recovery in demand and a possible increase in Iranian supplies. According to Reuters.
And “OPEC +” has reduced its production by 9.7 million barrels per day since May 2020 due to the decrease in demand for oil caused by the emerging Corona virus pandemic. As the situation recovered, the restrictions were adjusted, and amounted to 6.9 million barrels per day in April.
The OPEC + group decided last April to increase production by 2.1 million barrels per day from May to July, in anticipation of increasing global demand despite the high cases of Corona virus infection in India, the third largest oil consumer in the world.
Analysts from ING Economics said in a research note today, “We believe that the market will be able to absorb the additional supply, so we expect the (OPEC +) grouping to confirm that it will increase production as scheduled over the next two months.” link
Parliamentary Finance: The Ministry of Finance begins preparing the general budget in the sixth month of each year
The Parliamentary Finance Committee clarified, on Tuesday, May 1, 2021, that the Council of Ministers formed a committee to .prepare the draft federal budget law for 2022, indicating that economic conditions do not help to reverse the decision to raise the price of the dollar
Committee member Jamal Cougar said in a press statement that the Ministry of Finance began preparing the general budget in the sixth month of each year, as it calls on governorates and ministries to submit their budgets in the middle of the eighth month, stressing the need for the ministries of finance .and planning to decide on preparing the initial draft for 2022.
And submit it to the House of Representatives in mid-October He pointed out that the Council of Ministers formed a committee to prepare the draft federal budget law for 2022, and there are representatives from Parliamentary Finance involved in the discussions, calling on the current government to submit the draft budget and be ready for discussions for the next .government .He pointed out that the economic conditions do not currently allow for a reversal of the current exchange rate option
The Minister of Finance, Ali Abdul Amir Allawi, discussed, earlier, the mechanisms for drawing up a strategy for public budgets and ways to reform the development of systems approved by preparing budget strategies for the coming years in line with the need of the Iraqi economy to achieve .comprehensive economic development link
Source: Dinar Recaps
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