Will Facebook’s digital money Libra be good for Africa?

Written by Staff
Facebook
Photo by Con Karampelas on Unsplash

From early next year, Facebook intends to let its two billion-odd users – more than 139 million of whom are in Africa – make digital payments through its apps and popular messaging service WhatsApp using a new crypto-currency called Libra.

It could have profound implications for a continent which receives a huge amount of remittances – and is one of the least-banked regions of the world, something that has allowed for other innovations like mobile cash payments to take hold in Africa.

From BBC.

As a Zimbabwean living in South Africa, I have become numb to the daylight robbery that ensues whenever I receive money from abroad or send cash to my family back home.

As such, like many other cautious pragmatists, I relish the prospect of a network like Libra permanently disrupting the lucrative cash remittance businesses of large banks and money transfer services like Western Union and MoneyGram.

Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 02: Rodney Williams Jamarlin talks to Rodney Williams, founder and CEO of Lisnr, about raising $10 million in venture capital, HBCU endowments that invest in black tech, and how to fire loyal employees you like.

According to a World Bank report published last year, the cost of sending cash in sub-Saharan Africa was at least 20% higher than any other region in the world. The report revealed that sending $200 to and from the region in the first quarter of 2018 cost a whopping $19.

But we must not be naive to the myriad factors responsible for maintaining market inefficiencies and actively engineering economic complexities which corporations like Western Union exploit to great effect.

Read more at BBC.