Uses of Blockchain Technology in Africa

Although the adoption of mobile money services is on the rise, the adoption of blockchain technology in Africa lags behind. Players in different sectors create solutions with poor knowledge and understanding of blockchain technology.

Nonetheless, cryptocurrency adoption is gaining ground in many African countries. In today’s spotlight, we take a look at blockchain and countries that are experimenting it.

Blockchain, virtual reality and artificial intelligence are technologies that are gradually disrupting the dynamics in all sectors and that of education cannot escape them. While it is true that more rapid advances and experiments are visible in the countries of the North, those of the South where access to digital technologies is more limited, are progressing slowly but surely.

Many African countries such as Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Nigeria, Senegal and Ghana stand out from the crowd when it comes to adoption of blockchain technology in Africa. These countries are witnessing a lot of dynamism in digital currencies.

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Blockchain Conference in Africa

In March 2017, some of the world’s brightest blockchain experts met, not in London or Silicon Valley, but in Johannesburg, South Africa, to discuss the adoption of Blockchain technology, which is revolutionizing practices in several sectors including education.

The choice of the African continent for the blockchain conference testifies to the usefulness and potential of this technology in solving social, economic, legal and above all educational challenges. Despite fears and reservations about the future of this technology, many initiatives and experiments are emerging here and there on the globe.

The majority of industries and business models will be shaken by blockchain. This upheaval will be similar to that caused by the introduction of the internet. The market for education information systems alone, estimated to be 5.7 billion in 2021, will have to completely reorganize itself as a result.

Blockchain has the ability to transform the education sector in Africa. That said, lets now take a look at the potential and educational uses of this technology on the African continent.

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Experimentation of Blockchain Technology in Africa

In South Africa, the Blockchain Academy is offering training on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology to local entrepreneurs. There are also many blockchain-based education projects from early childhood to post-secondary.

For example, a company is supporting institutions specializing in child development, to register and verify attendance lists. These are then codified, which allows the centers to obtain the correct amount of the subsidy they receive from the government.

Like South Africa, the Kenyan government has also set up a Blockchain and AI task force to explore the potential of these technologies in public services. The task force led by Dr. Bitange Ndemo sought to address several areas. These include verification of education certificates, traffic management and financial transactions.

In 2016, the government of Kenya and IBM teamed up to enable schools to grant academic certificates through blockchain. Today, this technology is helping to create a regional network where educational institutions and employers can have more confidence in student assessment results and credentials.

Also, BitHub Africa is providing advisory services to organizations interested in deploying blockchain solutions in Africa. Some learning institutions in Kenya are considering a blockchain education program. The aim is to train engineers and managers who can sell this technology and implement it. as part of their activities.

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Crypto Currencies in Nigeria

In Nigeria, organizations like the Cryptographic Development Initiative of Nigeria (CDIN) are raising awareness among players in the crypto currency community. They are creating awareness about the difference between genuine products and fraudulent ones.

The organization also enjoys strong representation in various regions where the Nigerian government is developing the functional environment for digital currencies and decentralized technology.

When it comes to adoption of cryptocurrency in Africa, Uganda is also not left behind. The Ugandan government is considering the implementation of blockchain in its services. Vicente Bagiire Waiswa, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of ICT in Uganda, said the country recognizes the progress made by the world in implementing Blockchain in various services.

Also, the president of the Uganda Bankers’ Association (UBA), said that banks will adopt blockchain technology. This is because using cryptocurrency can reduce operational costs and risk in the sector. The chief executive of Stanbic Bank supported the idea.

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Blockchain Technology in Sierra Leone

In Sierra Leone, blockchain technology, transparent and decentralized, had been exploited to ensure a fair counting of votes, thereby limiting corruption and fraud. The same goes for Crytogene, which offers support services for the integration of blockchain in projects in Africa but also fights against cybercrime through blockchain.

The startup goes one step further by creating a cross-platform hub for hands-on learning supporting the interaction. The platform is also meant for the use and development of Blockchain tools for individual and organizational goals.

In Tunisia, the startup is collaborating with the Ministry of Education to implement a control and monitoring system for school meals using Blockchain technology. This keeps track of the quality of the program, designed to provide a fresh meal every day to underprivileged students. Nutrition and education go hand in hand, after all.

These are just a few examples of the use of blockchain technology in Africa, the list is far from exhaustive.

Development of Blockchain Technology in Africa

In general, the level of education and awareness of the use of blockchain in Africa is still low but promising. Many Africans go abroad to train in this sector. This is particularly the case for the Minister of Finance of South Africa. The minister had gone to follow a training course on Bitcoin in order to improve local innovation initiatives.

There has been poor understanding of the functioning and the stakes of the blockchain technology. This has aroused waves of mistrust among certain African governments, which have thus prohibited its legal use. It is therefore important that active players in digital currency or blockchain in general do more.

For example, to document, educate or raise awareness of blockchain issues, which is an opportunity to accelerate several growth processes. In addition, it is important to intensify collaboration between entrepreneurs and African governments. The majority of blockchain initiatives and experiments in Africa are drawn from private initiatives.

John Lombela, a South African blockchain expert entrepreneur complained about government bureaucracy and misunderstanding around blockchain technology. However, African blockchain entrepreneurs are persistent and resilient, like Yaliwe Soko, president of the Africa Blockchain Association.

To increase awareness of the blockchain, they are gradually creating clubs in African universities. Also, they are encouraging high schools to teach young people the ins and outs of this technology.

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The future of education is a two-way street. The status quo can be maintained and the sector will transform at a snail’s pace. Otherwise, blockchain technology in Africa can be integrated to build a robust, decentralized and transparent education system that caters to everyone. Also, we expect the adoption of cryptocurrencies in other sectors to increase in the coming years.

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