As the globe gets much more connected, there is the need to improve processes and drive efficiency. In a recently released report, Liquid Telecom examined the opportunity that blockchain presents in improving transparency and trust across Africa.
Titled "The African Blockchain Report 2018", the report notes that innovation is on the rise across Africa especially in Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda and South Africa. These are "among the countries taking the lead in blockchain experimentation."
It also details the pioneers of blockchain across the continent. This is in addition to highlighting potential use cases and applications, as well as exposing the challenges that await those looking to adopt the technology.
The report also breaks down the industries driving blockchain adoption across the region, and how the technology can support them. Additionally, it looks at how key stakeholders in Africa are preparing for its arrival.
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It further indicates the technology's relevance to Africa in its bid to overcome trade finance and cross-border payment issues.
"Blockchain offers value in areas such as identity management, transaction records, cross-border trade and SME payments," it states.
Without a doubt, the blockchain technology is still new across the continent. However, the majority of stakeholders do not underlook its future. This is especially in empowering trust within communities and public sectors such as the financial sector.
In Kenya, a task force is in place to leverage blockchain with the primary objective of creating employment. The team is headed by Dr. Bitange Ndemo, who believes that the technology will impact over the next half-decade.
In Uganda, the Blockchain Association of Uganda was set up as a "credible vehicle for driving standards" across industries in Uganda. The organization also aims to make resources available to government and public-sector consumers.
Nigeria is not any different in her pursuit of blockchain adoption. Mid this year, Paxful - a peer-to-peer marketplace - announced plans to establish an incubator hub in Lagos.
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The idea is to provide a co-working space, mentorship, corporate and individual training, and networking for ICO advisors.
South Africa has exhibited the technology through the Reserve Bank's Project Khokha. This is an initiative that seeks to provide a "distributed ledger technology-based wholesale payment system."
According to the project, the typical daily volume of the payments system could be processed in less than two hours with the payment fully confidential.
"South Africa’s education space is also already benefiting from blockchain, through the Amply project, run by local blockchain venture production studio TrustLab and Swiss nonprofit ixo Foundation, funded by Unicef," notes the report.
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Amply is a digital application that enables early childhood development service providers to track school attendance.
"The app replaces existing paper-based systems to register children for a government-funded pre-school subsidy and leverages blockchain technology to ensure accurate and secure data capture and storage."