How Blockchain is Transforming the African Landscape

By Justino | An Angle of Truth | 29 Mar 2021

“Blockchain: The great chain of being sure about things.” The Economist wrote.

The technology lets people who do not know or trust each other build an open, distributed ledger using cryptography. As a result, it can record transactions between two parties efficiently.

Africa is currently in the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Industry 4.0.

Prof Bitange Ndemo, who chairs the Distributed Ledgers Technology and Artificial Intelligence Task Force in Kenya said, there are several digital transformational opportunities where data put into a distributed public (private) database is impenetrable.

Here are the various applications:

  • The national identification and registration of citizens and foreigners by creating e-passports
  • Create an e-portfolio of academic credentials to stop forgery and copyright infringement
  • The land registry
  • It could improve healthcare with patient data privacy in a private blockchain and verifying the authenticity of drugs in the market. Research shows that 56% of healthcare providers across the globe will start using blockchain by 2020.
  • Give content creators more control over their songs and associated data circulated among fans and artists
  • Dramatically reduce the documentation associated with financing collateral with insurance
  • Avoid fraudulent transactions in the banking sector to speed up and streamline cross-border payments. Including eliminating the need for middle-men when trading shares, bonds and securities
  • Used in the supply chains of Walmart and IBM to help improve transparency and accountability within their ecosystems
  • Provide an authentic record of votes cast in an election
  • Government expenditure traceability
  • libraries and video games
  • Even waste management and recycling

There is still skepticism around the world that blockchain is not ready for production because of scalability issues and other limitations.

Some companies launch blockchain projects to improve their brand. According to findings by the World Economic Forum and Accenture Research, 87% of respondents reported a significant increase in their brand equity upon delivering the blockchain solution.

However, with Returns of Investment (ROI), they expected it to be much higher yet realized much lower returns. It is important to note that the technology is still in its nascent stages and the challenges not fully realized.

As a result, investors have become smarter; they have also learned from mistakes during the boom of the 2017 Initial Coin Offering (ICO) and the infiltration of scammers into the marketplace. Moreover, they have improved their methodologies for analyzing blockchain start-ups.

Women in Tech

Women techpreneurs are already making waves in the space. An all-woman judging panel at Seedstars Nairobi, 2019, one of the largest start-up competitions in the world, selected the first-time Kenyan blockchain start-ups in the competition’s history.

  • Pesabase - uses the blockchain to provide financial simplification and inclusion in Africa
  • Shamba Records - a blockchain-based data management platform used to collect farm records
  • Bitpesa - a payment platform that leverages blockchain started in 2013 whose founder is a woman

The East African country is rapidly emerging as one of the most blockchain friendly countries in Africa, despite no frameworks regulating the technologies.

Sure, the industry is favorable for women in tech in Kenya. However, there needs to be careful preparation at the proof-of-concept stages, strategic implementation, and honest evaluation.

The Future

Get this, the year, 2025 will store 10% of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on related technologies, the World Economic Forum projected.

However, Prof Bitange Ndemo concludes during a tech meet up in the capital, Nairobi, “Tech can be used to create trust, but even with the advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AI), it cannot create empathy.”


The author is passionate about the authentic self. She is a cryptocurrency educator in the crypto space. Her e-book is called ‘An Angle of Truth’. Article compiled in late 2019

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