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Kenya Central Bank Governor on CBDC: It’s About Getting It Right Rather Than First

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Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor Patrick Njoroge said his institution is currently exploring the use of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) to settle international payments. However, Njoroge insists that the bank’s priority is to get it right, not the first.

CBK approach

According to a Kenyan report by Wallstreet, Njoroge, who made the comments while attending an African-Asian virtual fintech festival, argued that such a CBDC would improve the efficiency of international payments. However, the report cites Njoroge as reiterating the CBK’s approach, which is different from other central banks. He said:

We see that the benefits would be more cross-border. The problem is not to be the first, the problem is to do well.

These statements by the governor of the CBK come just weeks after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) became the first country in Africa to launch a CBDC. About three weeks after the launch, CBN reported that nearly 500,000 wallets had been downloaded and that naira transactions worth $ 150,000 had been recorded.

Collaboration versus doing it alone

However, as Bitcoin.com News reported, e-naira continued to face challenges both before and after launch, culminating in the brief removal of the wallet app from the Google Play Store. In addition, some observers in Nigeria continue to criticize the CBN’s decision to extol the CBDC, which is on par with the physical naira, while cracking down on cryptocurrency users.

While the Kenyan Wallstreet report does not cite Njoroge as mentioning the CBN’s launch of the e-naira, the same report suggests that the governor of the CBK is promoting cooperation with other central banks, not just them.

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