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19 February 2020

Unpacking the Potential of Blockchain and Infrastructure in Africa

Unpacking the Potential of Blockchain and Infrastructure in Africa


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The vast swathes of Africa’s fertile lands may ultimately prove a central arena for the ground-up development of innovative digital infrastructure and green energy projects.

Recent pivotal moments in African trade, such as the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, are setting the table for an environment conducive to rapid growth, where both energy and financial infrastructure are a primary focus. .

Such a bulge in the youth of Africa has helped fuel the fastest-growing mobile market in the world, but one that still lacks a robust financial infrastructure.

The opportunity for Africa lies directly with the ability to potentially leapfrog an entire generation of financial and energy infrastructure — a luxury that countries in the Western Hemisphere lack.

According to the African Development Bank report, “Financial Inclusion in Africa,” the leading prohibitive factor in more robust financial infrastructure is inadequate access to financial services.

Blockchain firms focusing on instant, low-cost payments have subsequently swooped in at the opportunity to craft a new kind of financial infrastructure from its foundation. .

Should Square Crypto expand its operations to cover the populous regions of Africa that Dorsey has hinted as the first in line for Bitcoin development (such as Nigeria), then direct access to Bitcoin investing, Square Crypto, and payment rails will be at the fingertips of more than 350 million unbanked adults. .

Recent research indicates that Nigerians are willing to take drastic discounts on Bitcoin purchases using the Paxful exchange primarily to circumvent remittance services like Western Union and the restrictive banking infrastructure in Nigeria.

One of the most high-profile infrastructure developments of 2019 came out of South Africa, where Meridian Economics proposed an $11 billion green energy initiative in the African nation.

The takeaway is that there is palpable interest in investing vast sums into Africa’s development, and blockchain technology is a common thread in many instances. 

Blockchains help to ease the transaction costs of such microgrid marketplaces, where people can buy and sell excess energy using mobile applications. 

More efficient markets mean that less energy is accidentally (or deliberately) curtailed, making green energy ROI more appealing when compared with its fossil fuel counterparts. 

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