Blockchain Technology Solving African Problems As Adoption Grows

Written by Peter Pedroncelli

blockchain technology
Blockchain-supported elections took place in Sierra Leone this year. Photo – Quartz

Blockchain technology may not be as widely adopted in Africa as it is in some other parts of the world, but the promising tech is showing signs of steady growth across the continent.

Modern buzzwords such as blockchain and cryptocurrency are not lost on Africans, as the continent has embraced these new technologies and the solutions that they promise to modern-day challenges.

Sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest economies are leading the way with regards to blockchain hubs, which assist companies and individuals with the adoption of the new technology while providing a platform for the blockchain communities in those nations to thrive, according to Venturebeat.

As blockchain technology enables a continuously growing list of records to be linked and secured using cryptography, the applications for this tech may solve a number of economic and political issues that are currently experienced in Africa.

One such example is the land ownership issue in Ghana, which is open to corruption and fraud due to the fact that verifiable ownership paperwork is not available.

The Ghanaian government has enlisted local tech startups to develop blockchain systems that can offer landowners the necessary paperwork that can be verified and trusted, according to Cryptoslate.

The problem has been a nightmare for the Ghanaian real-estate market, with fraud rife in the form of multiple title deeds for one piece of land.

Another West African nation has shown the value of using blockchain as a tool in politics, with Sierra Leone recently using blockchain technology to count votes during their recent parliamentary elections.

Thanks to the system, which was put in place by Swiss tech firm Agora, the crypto service allowed for a fair and transparent election, according to Quartz.

The distributed ledger technology is fast becoming the tool of governments across Africa when it comes to modern problem-solving.

Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta recently launched a blockchain and artificial intelligence task force to investigate the use of such technologies to benefit the East African country’s economy, BusinessDailyAfrica reports.

The task force is to look to ways of deploying blockchain technology in order to eliminate political corruption and over-regulation, developing a 15-year plan of action.

Blockchain technology hubs show steady growth

South Africa recently hosted the fourth annual Blockchain Africa Conference, with experts from across the globe converging on the country to discuss the technology and its adoption.

But perhaps the best indication of its widespread adoption is the fact that blockchain hubs now operate throughout the continent.

Kenya-based BitHub Africa is a blockchain accelerator which aims to support startups that use the technology to develop solutions to African problems, TechinAfrica reports.

South Africa’s Blockchain Academy in Cape Town trains local startups and entrepreneurs with regards to cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, advising businesses on how to successfully adopt blockchain technology.

Nigeria is also getting in on the action, with Nigerian Blockchain startup SureRemit recently raising $8 million, the largest-ever African initial coin offering (ICO), according to BitcoinAfrica.

The country held the first Nigeria Blockchain Alliance Conference in November last year, further illustrating the growth of the technology in Africa’s largest economy.

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