Zimbabwe, which is readying up a Cyber Security and Computer Crimes Bill, has leaned on Japan for a US$3.6 million grant to procure cyber security equipment to enhance information sharing between law enforcement agencies.
The government is targeting what it believes is a rise in fraud amid ongoing cash shortages and foreign currency constraints, as well as the abuse of social media.
This week Zimbabwe Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube and Japanese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Toshiyuki Iwado confirmed the cyber security grant.
"The new equipment to be provided including digital forensic tools, systems and information sharing protocol will contribute to upgrading the capacity of the Zimbabwe Republic Police and will promote inter-regional cooperation of responsible bodies and Interpol," said Ambassador Toshiyuki.
Minister Ncube said the grant will also help the Zimbabwe tackle trans-border crime including the movement of illicit goods and human trafficking.
"Our intention is to enhance security in dealing with the scourge of cybercrime. We are such a digitalised economy and it is imperative that such equipment is procured," he said.
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe also says digital transactions, underpinned by mobile money, accounted for over 90% of the US$97.5 billion in total value transactions for Zimbabwe in 2017.
Of the one billion financial transactions processed in the country last year, more than three quarters (754 million payments), were transacted over mobile platforms. In terms of value, the mobile money platforms handled US$18 billion, significantly up from US$5.8 billion in 2016.