African countries are no strangers to the rapid implementation of digital solution technologies and the adoption of Blockchain and cryptocurrency. Such advanced technologies suggest many prospects in various sectors of the African economy and are particularly attracted to incumbents such as the traditional financial institutions and entrepreneurs. Nevertheless, many startups and initiatives are leveraging Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies in Africa as this technology helps in making financial services available to more Africans and reduces counterparty risk. For instance, traditional banking institutions in South Africa, Ghana, and Kenya, are investing heavily in the development of Blockchain technology and also to explore its new possible implementations.
Africa can take advantage of the Blockchain technology in several sectors, including international transfer of funds and, land and property registers, cyber security, supply chain management, networking, insurance, cloud storage, healthcare, energy management and retail utilities, to boost growth across the continent. Undoubtedly, as traditional businesses adapt to these technological change and also with the range of applications being implemented in the continent, Blockchain based solutions can leapfrog the traditional technology infrastructures in the African countries. No doubt, considering these phenomena like Blockchain and cryptocurrencies, are the drivers of a new era of inclusive growth whereby ‘no one is left behind’. This revolutionary development is considered as a potential to enrich transparency and reduce long-standing inefficiencies and costs within several sectors of any economy including the African economies.
Finance Sector and Financial Inclusion
The financial sector looks set to be the continents’ earliest big adopter, as Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda and South Africa are the countries taking the lead in blockchain experimentation. For instance, Ecobank, a pan- African banking conglomerate operating in 36 countries is planning to maximize blockchain’s potential in Africa. Banks are using blockchain technology to improve the area of money transfers to other countries. Many financial institutions are partnering with Fintech companies to facilitate cross-border payments using blockchain technology. This will eventually save the banks’ times and money and consumers also can benefit.
According to World Bank record, approximately 80% of the African population are unbanked. Consequently, this technology is particularly appealing as it helps in making the African get access to the financial services and help them to save and plan for their future. Blockchain and its applications can provide financial services to all levels of society and bring affordable financial services to low income countries across the continent.
Considering development made in the area of Blockchain, the future of Africa in technology advancements represents a perfect decentralised and incorruptible engine. This will address the issues of SME trade, a number of identity management and transactional problems which Africa is facing.
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