Africa is not a country.
(You´d be surprised to know how many people do not know this lol)
It is the world´s second largest and most populated continent only behind Asia. Surrounded by the Mediterranean to the north, the Isthmus of Suez and the famous Red Sea to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast and the Atlantic to the west. And it has a population of 1.2+ Billion people making 16% of the world´s population! It covers 30% of the earth´s entire surface and 20% of its land area.
This is an enormous and quite unique land!
Africa´s climate varies between tropical to subarctic, and most of its land consists of drylands and deserts; its top half is primarily desert, and the center contains savanna and rain forest areas. It is considered the hottest continent on earth, and the highest temperature registered was in Libya 1922 of 136 Fahrenheit (58 Celsius). Yikes!
The land is composed of 54 countries, nine territories and two de facto independent states without much recognition; and it also includes Madagascar and the archipelagos. It hosts a diverse range of cultures and ethnicities, and according to UNESCO is has over two thousand languages. Some of the most powerful nations in the continent are Kenya, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Ghana, and South Africa (yes, SA is a country lol).
Africa has everything it needs to become a powerful-dominant continent, but it faces some severe corruption issues.
Many countries in the region have hyperinflated state-issued currencies, and at least 100 million people are unbanked. In 2013 Africa was considered as the world´s poorest populated continent, though, the World Bank anticipates that by 2025 most African countries will have reached a middle income of 1,000 per person. In 2017 the African Development bank announced Africa to be the world´s second-fastest rising economy.
Crypto and Blockchain in Africa, just makes sense.
Africans experienced a mobile phone and internet burst, and it became their main connection to the world beyond their borders giving them access to the global market which was not possible previously.
“The rise of mobile phones enabled a revolution in African access to financial services.” — The Elixirr
According to Eric Osiakwan an entrepreneur from Ghana the mobile internet is disrupting many areas and mobile devices are being used to solve many of their issues, it is improving many domains as the government and social development, agriculture, tech infrastructure, entrepreneurial ecosystem, social protection, finance, security, education, health, economic growth, and even climate change.
The continent has the youngest population amongst all other continents, the average median age is 19 years old, which might lead us to understand why the continent as a whole has adapted and grown in the last 20 years to mobile tech more than any other growth generating a financially inclusive ecosystem.
This is a path to financial freedom and economic growth, if they have internet connection they can also have cryptos and all the benefits that come along with it.
Mobile money is already a big deal amongst African countries so shifting on to cryptos could not be easier. Some parts of Africa have already been using cryptocurrency as storage of value, as an alternative to their fiat currencies, having full control of their money and total freedom against any government collapse including corruption.
Cryptocurrency and blockchain can change how Africans trade, radically. The new technologies are creating new opportunities and catering to the needs of the African nations without government restraint or control.
Financial growth and financial stability are now possible to villages and provinces that were impossible to be reached appropriately prior to mobile internet, crypto, and blockchain. This is giving the people financial security, flexibility, privacy and allowing for cross-border payments facilitating trades between countries within the African borders and beyond, strengthening the local businesses and international commerce.
In advanced countries, the adoption of cryptos may take longer, but in African countries, and other countries in financial crisis like Greece however, it is being tested and accepted by its communities because it is keeping them above the traditional monetary systems. In other words, it is helping people survive during a crisis.
Even the bankless can now take advantage of the accessibility to cryptos, as well as the people who own bank accounts in Africa because getting to the villages where you can find banks is not always as easy as it may be in other societies; so now cryptos are not just safe and reliable but also convenient.
Nevertheless, there are still many parts of Africa especially on the west side that still do not have internet connection, but organizations like Internet Society are on the move to changing that reality.
African tokens and blockchain are making progress
“The African Digital Asset Framework, announced in July at the United Nations, has officially launched with the release of a research and development paper outlining the opportunities presented by distributed ledger technologies and digital assets to open borders for commerce within the African continent and between its diaspora.” — ADAF
Founded by three organizations EOS Nairobi, Raise and Alba.one ADAF exists to create the standards required to enable commerce and trading in Africa, creating a safe environment for the African people to trade without the need to trust anyone, yet, securely access and transfer value.
Crypto startup Wala is reaching out to the African community in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Uganda with Ethereum micropayments expanding the ecosystem in the continent by using dala tokens and a zero-fee app. This startup is helping African citizens with a cryptocurrency payment mechanism that is better than any other system the landmass may have at the moment, paying an average of 27 cents to add mobile airtime.
“We really believe cryptocurrency is what is going to drive a financial revolution in Africa,” said Tricia Martinez, the CEO of Wala, who raised $1.2 mil selling ethereum-based “dala” tokens in an ICO back in December of 2017.
According to BitcoinAfrica.io Walla is getting ready to expand in the near future to Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Zambia, Nigeria, Ghana, and the UK.
Femtech in Africa
There are several women pioneering the new crypto and blockchain era in Africa as Tricia Martinez mentioned above the founder of blockchain-based financial services platform Wala.
While the technology space is still predominantly taken over by males, the rise of femtech, which refers to women in tech, is a response to it and it is growing daily.
In Africa, there are multiple women creating movement within the crypto and blockchain community; meet Sonya Kuhnel who lauched the Blockchain Academy in 2013 educating South Africans about cryptos , blockchain and its use cases.
And Alakanani Itireleng the founder of the Satoshicentre in Botswana, providing companies and individuals with information about cryptocurrency and blockchain with the main intent of empowering people with knowledge to influence and help expand the technologies.
“African women in tech should endeavor to learn more about blockchain technology for the purposes of innovation as opposed to participating in the myriad of scammy get-rich-quick bitcoin schemes.” — Alakanani Itireleng
These are just some of many women who are working to see Africa take off to an entirely new level in the technology community; this will generate more jobs, new careers and can potentially transform Africa´s economy in the generations to come.
The future of African countries can be improved and completely transformed by the internet, cryptocurrency, and blockchain. Many have realized the magnitude of this opportunity and slowly but surely are taking steps into expanding the new ecosystem throughout the continent, but it is not enough, more people must embrace it, more women must choose to be a part of the TI industry and not allow it to intimidate them.
Africans, in general, must not allow technology to frighten them; they must embrace it and allow Africa to become one the best evidence of the cryptocurrency and blockchain ecosystem potential.
Dear Africans, the more you learn the more you will earn, it is your time to conquer your dreams, the world is yours GO GET IT! ❤