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Botswana applauds IMF’s readiness to prop up digitisation

Botswana’s central bank governor has applauded the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) readiness to offer capacity development to help emerging and developing economies leverage opportunities from digitalisation.

Following his attendance at the 2022 International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group Spring Meetings, Bank of Botswana (BoB) governor Moses Pelaelo said the IMF underlined the vital importance of digital solutions in fostering broader financial inclusion.

“The discussions acknowledged that COVID-19 pandemic induced acceleration of digital solutions, largely driven by the private sector."

Pelaelo added that the digitally-enabled firms experienced lower decline in sales during COVID-19, compared to digitally constrained firms, suggesting that digitalisation acted as a hedge against losses during the pandemic.

“It was emphasised that there was a need to maintain the momentum, going forward,” he said.

Pelaelo said governments were encouraged to implement fiscal policy measures aimed at addressing the digital divide among communities to reduce divergence of opportunities and incomes. “Impediments to digital inclusion in Africa were largely highlighted as low digital literacy, lack of related infrastructure and devices, especially in rural areas and high cost of broadband."

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