Payment systems in the Southern African Development Community

June 1999

The Committee on Payment and Settlement Systems (CPSS) of the central banks of the Group of Ten countries periodically publishes - under the aegis of the Bank for International Settlements - reference works on payment systems in various countries, the so-called Red Books. In December 1993 it produced the fourth version of the Red Book covering all the G-10 countries and subsequently it has also published volumes for other, non-G10 countries - most recently for Korea, the Czech Republic and Lebanon. Red Books for a number of further countries are in the course of being produced. Volumes that are similar to the Red Book format have also been issued by the European Monetary Institute (for the European Union countries) and by the Executives' Meeting of East Asia and Pacific Central Banks and Monetary Authorities (for the EMEAP member countries).

The present volume - "the Green Book", covering the countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) - is a further, important step towards increasing our understanding of the way that payment systems work in different countries. The Green Book has been produced by the SADC Payment System Project Team under the auspices of the SADC Committee of Central Bank Governors. As noted in the introduction which follows, the format has been changed slightly from that of the other Red Books in order to reflect the circumstances of the SADC countries.

Recognising the need for an efficient and secure financial infrastructure, the SADC countries have set themselves the ambitious task of modernising their existing payment and settlement systems, and to speed progress they have chosen to adopt a cooperative, regional approach. A prerequisite for successful cooperation is to understand the existing infrastructure in place in each country and, recognising this priority, this edition of the Green Book has been produced with commendable speed. The practical value of early publication was felt to justify the fact that it has not been possible in this version to include all the usual Red Book data or to edit all the country chapters to be consistent with normal Red Book standards.

We hope this volume will not only be of use to the SADC countries themselves in their important work, but also contribute more generally to global awareness of payment and settlement arrangements in the SADC countries.

Wendelin Hartmann, Chairman Chris L. Stals, Chairman
Committee on Payment and Settlement Systems SADC Committee of Central Bank Governors
Member of the Directorate of the Deutsche Bundesbank Governor of South African Reserve Bank