Can Africa benefit from blockchain potential?

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Can Africa benefit from blockchain potential?

By Benson Toti - min read

The continent faces many unique challenges that can be solved with proper use of blockchain technology

The continent of Africa is currently experiencing an expansion with blockchain technology, and many believe that the region is capable of providing several unique use cases for the nascent tech. For several years, Africa has worked towards driving innovation in a number of spaces, and mobile payments are a prime example of how the technology has potential to massively improve the lives of many Africans across the area.

Many of the countries that are situated in Africa are still considered to be developing economies; however, some of the most prominent states have positioned themselves as pioneers when it comes to technological innovation in fintech, cryptocurrency and blockchain. The use of blockchain technology, in particular, is becoming a significant part of the equation as it is being tested in different industries and institutions.

Michelle Chivunga, Chief Executive Officer and founder of a digital economy and blockchain solutions group called the Global Policy House, revealed that African countries are looking into using the technology for a wide variety of scenarios.

“Countries in Africa including Ghana are looking into using blockchain for land registry and many countries at digital identity, provenance in supply chains, healthcare and financing. E-commerce and fintech are major drivers of the digital economy in Africa. I see this growing and paving the way for more blockchain activity”, she stated.

Chivunga is also an advisor to the governments of Bermuda, the African Union and the United Kingdom.

Stephen Young, a software developer and smart contract engineer who is based in Cape Town, also revealed that increasing access to cryptocurrencies have gone a long way in helping Africans understand the technology better.

“Over the last few years, the infrastructure that allows people to purchase and trade cryptocurrencies have come a long way. This, combined with informal peer-to-peer (P2P) trading, makes it possible for many Africans to get hold of cryptocurrencies”.

As the founder and CEO of NFTfi, a decentralised finance platform and a peer-to-peer marketplace for nonfungible token collateralised loans, Young added that centralised and P2P exchanges are the most prominent users of blockchain technology on the continent.

“An area I am passionate about is the opportunity blockchain presents to decentralise access to wealth to support greater financial inclusion and support especially for micro, small and medium enterprises; they make up at least 80% of businesses in Africa yet so under-resourced”, he continued.