Updated: Nov 29
Author: Sidney Williams
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Date of Publication: 19/10/2022
Africa is one of the most impoverished regions on Earth and has been for centuries. It’s true that there have been many initiatives to help improve the continent. However, blockchain technology may be the key to unlocking its full potential. In this article, I will introduce you to some ways in which blockchain technology can empower Africa.
What is blockchain?
First, it’s important to understand the basic principles of blockchain and what it encompasses. Blockchain technology is a revolutionary way of verifying and recording transactions. Therefore, it’s a distributed ledger that allows people to exchange information in a secure way. Transactions are verified by others on the network and then recorded in a public and open ledger. For example, Bitcoin is the first and most well-known application of blockchain.
Blockchain in agriculture
So, the basics of blockchain technology makes it clear and how it functions as a secure and transparent gateway of information. In fact, African entrepreneurs are looking at this technology to empower their businesses in several ways. One of the most significant ways blockchain is being used is to help track and secure the food supply chain. What’s more, using blockchain, businesses can ensure that the food they are producing is valid and hasn’t been tampered with. Additionally, by tracking the food supply chain through the blockchain, consumers can be sure that they are getting a fair deal.
Agricultural supply chains in Africa are often complex. This makes it difficult for small-scale farmers to gain fair prices for their crops. Therefore, blockchain technology helps to make these supply chains more transparent and efficient. For example, a company called Provenance is using the blockchain to track the journey of fish from the lake to the dinner plate. By tracking the fish through the blockchain, Provenance can provide consumers with a guarantee of its freshness and origins.
The second implementation of blockchain in Africa is through what is called a DID: Digital Identity. In particular, the company leading this innovation is called Atala Prism, a digital identity through Atala Prism helps Africa reduce poverty. Actually, it further improves the standard of living for its citizens. By making it easier for people to access government services and resources, a digital identity can help Africans improve their lives.
In addition, a digital identity can help to reduce fraud and corruption. These are major problems in Africa. So, the security of blockchain eliminates these risks. Atala Prism is collaborating with the African Development Bank and various African governments to help them establish a digital identity for its citizens.
In conclusion, these are but two of the many different implementations of blockchain in Africa. There are many more ways in which blockchain is being utilised. We should understand that this technology is still at its early stages. More growth and benefits are certainly about to come.
However, we can’t talk about the future of Africa without addressing blockchain technology. The impact it has on the continent is enormous and has the potential to change the way we all live, work, and interact. For example, it can influence aspects from improving access to financial services to increasing transparency and accountability. Therefore, blockchain is about to make a significant impact in Africa. As the technology matures, it is important to ensure that its benefits are accessible to all Africans, regardless of any economic status.
Blockchain Facts: What Is It, How It Works, and How It Can Be Used. (2022, September 27). Retrieved October 4, 2022, from https://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/blockchain.asp
Project Provenance Ltd. (2016, July 15). Blockchain: the solution for transparency in product supply chains. Retrieved October 4, 2022, from https://www.provenance.org/tracking-tuna on-the-blockchain
Internationalbanker. (2022, June 30). Can AgTech Prove Instrumental in Helping to Feed the World’s Growing Population? Retrieved October 4, 2022, from https://internationalbanker.com/technology/can-agtech-prove-instrumental-in-helping-to feed-the-worlds-growing-population/
Atala PRISM. (n.d.). Retrieved October 4, 2022, from https://atalaprism.io/#:%7E:text=Driven%20by%20innovation,to%20help%20expand%20y ur%20ecosystem.