Tanzania president urges central bank to consider digital currency

The President of Tanzania has asked the country’s central bank to begin exploring the role digital currency assets could play in the country’s economy, in a move that could see Tanzania on course to introduce greater support for digital assets.

President Samia Suluhu Hassan highlighted the growing role for digital assets in global finance, suggesting there may be a role for digital currency in developing Tanzania’s economy.

“We have witnessed the emergence of a new journey through the internet.”

Highlighting the lack of support throughout the East African region for digital currency so far, she said there was an opportunity for the country’s central bank to get ahead in setting out its approach towards digital assets.

“Throughout the region, including Tanzania, they have not accepted or started using these routes. My call to the Central Bank is that you should start working on that development. The Central Bank should be ready for the changes and not be caught unprepared.”

The comments come at a time of increasing interest in digital currency and digital assets from the world’s emerging economies. In Latin America, for example, a number of governments have indicated a willingness to embrace digital assets more closely, notably including El Salvador, which is to accept BTC as legal tender—despite its unsuitability for payments.

African lawmakers have been somewhat slower to adapt to the growing interest in digital currency, though P2P digital currency trading has been popular in East Africa for a number of years. According to some reports, Sub-Saharan Africa is second only to North America for P2P trading volumes, clearing as much as $16.5 million per week.

Over half of the region’s volume runs through Nigeria at $8.5 million weekly, with Kenya ($3 million) and Ghana ($2 million) making up the bulk of the remainder.

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