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Blockchain Africa conference shows continent is enthusiastic about new technology

Image by xresch from Pixabay

Wed, 25 Mar 2020, 14:14 pm UTC

Africa is enthusiastic about blockchain technology.

During the Blockchain Africa conference, several use cases were discussed including the challenges and solutions blockchain can deliver in the continent, Cointelegraph reported. Apparently, banking and having insurance are considered luxury because aside from financial matters, many do not have proper identification credentials, so they cannot open bank accounts, apply for insurance or benefit from other financial products.

However, according to Victor Mapunda, CEO and founder of startup FlexFinTx, who hails from Zimbabwe, Africans can adapt to new technologies easily. Mapunda’s FlexFinTx provides people with digital ID through WhatsApp and he saw how the people respond to it.

“I think Africans, when it comes to adoption of technology, are some of the most dynamic people in the world, this is because, for the most part, we don’t have a lot of legacy infrastructure and institutions. Most of the things we’ve grown up with didn't work,” Mapunda told Cointelegraph.

He also pointed out how innovations like mobile money and internet-based communication improve the African’s quality of life. According to him, when they learned about mobile money, “we jumped on it.”

“WhatsApp is a very good example of an application that didn’t have a single billboard, yet it managed to spread like wildfire across Africa. It solved a major problem — the cost of communication was too expensive and it's a natural solution that people gravitate to,” he added.

Thavash Govender, a data and AI specialist at Microsoft South Africa, is also enthusiastic about blockchain for trading. He said that it offers advantages especially in taking precautions against counterfeit goods. It could also reduce the amount of time for a trade to take place.

“If I’m an SME, I’m going to open up to a whole bunch of institutions that I just don't know. If we're all part of the same blockchain consortium, then I know I can trust what is written on the chain. Because I can trust the information, I can move a lot quicker. It’s not going to take me weeks of investigation, so I can grant loans quicker or get the trade finance process going a lot faster,” he explained.

Michelle Nsanzumuco, who acts as a senior advisor to the government of Bermuda and the Africa lead for Fintech4Good, also noted that blockchain can help Africa especially in supply chain and health care.

Meanwhile, Nishan Degnarain of Forbes gave five points on how blockchain can help unlock the medical supply chain for coronavirus. According to him, it can help address issues on product requirements, supplier credibility, financial payments, customer certifications, and transportation tracking.

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