I thought it would be good to inform people about the immense potential for blockchain in Africa and to dispel some notions about it. Disclaimer: I am not from Africa and this is based on internet research!
According to 2020 research by one of the Big 4, Africa has seen the biggest growth in working age people (see the chart on the webpage). As the headline puts it “A surplus of workers, more stability and technology are transforming Africa’s economies, making it less dependent on extractive industries.”
This 2013 article takes a longer term view and highlights the enormous long-term trajectory of the continent:
“By 2050, assuming a conservative trajectory similar to what India achieved since 1990, Africa will produce more GDP than the United States and eurozone combined do today, and its basic social, demographic and political realities will also be transformed. A continent rich in natural resources – mineral, agricultural and in energy – Africa is also rich in the youth of its population, enjoying a demographic advantage over all other regions of the world.
The pace of technological innovation globally is now so rapid, and technology is so easy to transfer – as evidenced by the boom in mobile phone technology and the roll-out of broadband across the continent – these young Africans are not only the recipients of technology, but are becoming exporters of it, too.“
Pretty impressive huh?
Within Africa, the country of Ethiopia is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, registering over 10% economic growth from 2004 through 2009. .
The Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed Ali, who famously has an advanced diploma in cryptography, ended a border conflict, won a Nobel Prize for Peace, and is now opening the country to investment. The country has a population of 100 million with about 5m living in Addis Ababa, a city that has been described as “the political capital of Africa” for its historical, diplomatic and political significance for the continent.
But what about blockchain and Africa? Well in this 2019 Forbes article the writer touts blockchain as a key technology in overcoming broken infrastructure:
“Today, much of Africa has an opportunity to leapfrog the development mistakes of the West by reimagining entire systems of production, financial services, and governance fueled by blockchain, positioning itself as the ultimate unicorn case study.”
And then goes on to list several blockchain initiatives including Cardano.
IOHK, have had a long-standing relationship with doing business and fostering relationships on the African continent, even training up local talent on Plutus. If you’ve browsed the IOHK jobs board recently you’ll see there a significant number of positions in Addis Ababa.
The upshot of all this is that we have a rapidly growing continent that is coming of age, for whom blockchain technology provides enormous promise, and who have a talented young workforce; and Cardano, through IOHK, is firmly establishing its roots across the content as well as in the city that some describe as the political capital of Africa.
So I’m feeling bullish on blockchain, bullish on Cardano, and bullish on Africa!
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