- In 2022, Africa’s fintech sector secured $1.45 billion in funding, a 39.3% increase from 2021.
- According to IMF, the continent’s total trading volume is $20 billion monthly.
- In 2018, Sierra Leone became the first known government to establish a blockchain voting system to present a proveable fair election within Africa’s history.
One of the end goals of most blockchain-based companies within the continent is effectively transforming how we view technology. Throughout the years, African governments have needed help understanding the concept of blockchain technology. Fortunately, as time progressed, so did advancement within the Web3 industry. Soon various countries warmed up to the idea of a decentralized Africa and thus ushered in a new age o developers; blockchain developers. Having found the ability to isolate its fundamental functionalities, blockchain in governments is a rising concept. Experts from all over have been awed at the continent’s adoption rate despite unsettling mishaps and tightened regulations.
This article will highlight several use cases that illustrate how blockchain-based technology might be the new go-to approach for most African governments.
Why reject crypto and not blockchain-based technology?
It is a well-known fact that Africa’s crypto ecosystem is among the fastest-growing rates of adoption ever seen. In a decade, the continent has produced sevral nations with enough trading volume to contend with developed countries. However, despite this decentralized application’s rapid development, its growth pales compared to its potential.
In 2021, the concept of decentralized Africa peaked in the last decade. According to IMF, the continent’s total trading volume was $20 billion monthly. This feat is indeed praise-worthy but mainly revolves around a few select countries. Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, Egypt, Tanzania and Zanzibar are among the few countries that have carried the entire crypto ecosystem on their backs.
In truth, only Nigeria and South Africa are the African governments that have taken a positive turn to cryptocurrency. The rest mainly lie in uncertainty, with a few rejecting the concept. Unfortunately, this means that only a fraction of Africa’s entire population truly grapes the idea of decentralized applications.
Reason against crypto in Africa
Unfortunately, this comes with several sound reasons. The first is that most African governments mainly focus on the negative aspects of cryptocurrency. The declining fiat currency is enough for citizens to actively pursue cryptocurrency as an alternate means of earning money.
If the government actively recognizes crypto, most fear that citizens will abandon their fiat currency for more value-added cryptocurrency. Furthermore, the lack of steady regulations has worsened the government’s crypto state. Fortunately, the optimistic take of several African governments in South Africa and Nigeria has portents a positive ripple effect on its peers. African governments such as Kenya, Rwanda, Ghana and others have taken a more calm approach and distributed several research teams to investigate how best to deal with digital currency.
However, the pessimistic take on cryptocurrency has yet to deter the growth of blockchain-based technology within the country. On the contrary, several governments that have established negative interpretations have encouraged citizens to explore the world of decentralized applications. This led to the improvements of several distinct industries throughout Africa.
The positive take on Blockchain-based technology
Blockchain-based technology has refined several industries and has played a significant role in building a decentralized Africa. Its first application has led to the growth of Africa’s fintech industry, the fastest-growing economic activity. Seven out of the eleven unicorn startups in Africa are under the fintech category.
Flutterwave, the leading fintech industry in Africa, is responsible for the massive wave of fintech startups throughout Africa. Its success and contribution to the ecosystem have inspired multiple developers to tread its path. In 2022, Africa’s fintech sector secured $1.45 billion in funding, a 39.3% increase from 2021. Nigeria, more commonly expected to become Africa’s crypto hub, has 205 fintech startups making 40% of its total startup.
Blockchain-based technology has redefined its agriculture sector, ushering in a peculiar combination known as Agritech. For instance, Binkabi, a decentralized application, allows farmers to tokenize their produce to help trade faster and securely. Binkabi has utilized the fundamental traits of blockchain to redefine Africa’s agricultural supply chain. It has provided farmers with a financing platform that allows produce-related transactions via smart contracts.
Furthermore, Kenya has housed several blockchain-based applications within its medical sector. AfyaRekod has developed a decentralized application that securely collects and stores accurate data from different health infrastructures.
These are some of the few use cases of how blockchain-based technology has positively chained most African governments to take on decentralization. Its practical usability has led to the rise of blockchain in governments.
African governments are implementing Blockchain-based technology.
Blockchain in government has ushered in a redefining trajectory for the entire continent. As a result, several African governments have actively implemented blockchain-based technology to improve various infrastructures.
The fact is that blockchain-based technology offers good governance, something that most African countries struggle with. In a previous article, we highlighted how implementing blockchain in governments could solve a significant protest in March 2023.
It is immutable and, more so, incorruptible, significantly contributing to how blockchain can improve the livelihood of multiple African communities. Its application range from finances, voting, and tax to the establishment of identification systems and automatic systems that propel various governmental processes
One of the first implementations of blockchain in government occurred in Sierra Leone. In 2018, Sierra Leon became the first known government to establish a blockchain voting system to present a proveable fair election within Africa’s history. Leonardo Gammar of Agora developed this blockchain-based technology that offers results never seen before in Sierra Leone’s political history.
Gammar anonymously stored votes in an immutable ledger which computed the effects almost instantly and broadcasted it throughout its network. He stated that by using this decentralized application, the people and the governments could curb corruption and reduce the cost and congestion of voting.
The system would introduce a single identity number enabling users to access and ensure services nationwide. It Unique Personal Identifier system would allow Kenyans to have a decentralized network that would give access to information on any occasion, be it sitting exams, school administration or even acquiring national health insurance. Huduma Nmba is a decentralized application that depicts a decentralized Africa.
In addition, Kenya has developed a mobile-based bond, Retail Bond, that emphasizes the need for blockchain governments. The African governments set M-Akiba to fund governments’ infrastructural development projects. M-Akiba is administered through the Central Bank of Kenya with collaborators such as Mobile Operators and the Kenya Association of Stock Brokers&Investment Bank(KASIB)—M-Akiba ushers in a fintech era for the African government.
Generally, a bond is a loan an African government agrees to repay the people. It provides investment opportunities for its citizens while allowing the government to earn money for future projects. M-Akiba utilizes blockchain technology to develop a distributed ledger system within a mobile network. This allows the users to easily access the bonds while enabling transparency between the government and its citizens.
One of the main emphases of most African governments is our education systems. As a result, several have taken the initiative to use blockchain-based technology to usher in a decentralized Africa by improving society’s most basic level. For instance, Carano in Ethiopia has pioneered a decentralized application that caters to the needs of its users at a student level.
The collaboration with this African government has led to the development of a decentralized national student and teacher ID. Furthermore, they have installed an elaborate recording system that monitors the process of institutes throughout the country. The main aim of this collaboration is to expose students to a new form of technology that will play a key role in building a decentralized Africa.
It also aims to increase social mobility by allowing potential employees to verify all grades without third-party entities. Zanzibar has also taken a similar initiative by partnering with World Mobile. This collaboration has led to a nationwide decentralized network catering to users and governmental offices. In addition, the government has also deployed a decentralized network in sevral school institutes, giving students a chance to interact with the following form of the Internet.
Several other African governments, such as South Africa, Egypt and Nigeria, have utilized blockchain-based technology to improve various sectors of their economies. The technology’s applicability, scalability, and automation have proven time and time again that blockchain is the key to a decentralized Africa.