By Neenah Payne
The Blockchain Africa Conference 2021 is virtual event March 18-19 from Johannesburg, South Africa to offer insights on the future of blockchain with a focus on Africa’s economies. Last year’s event hosted 230 delegates and 35 speakers. The conference preserves a tradition of international innovation in an industry that is still building recognition worldwide and unveiling meaningful implementations in the public and private sectors.
The previous six conferences built a portfolio of 170 speakers and 2,000 delegates from over 40 countries, gathering to learn about trends and opportunities as blockchain technology matures toward mainstream acceptance. Africa has been a particularly fruitful breeding ground for digital payment systems as a preferred alternative to brick-and-mortar banks. US Blockchain research firm Chainalysis noted that monthly cryptocurrency transfers to and from Africa under $10,000 shot up by 55 percent on a year-over-year basis, reaching a peak of $316 million in June.
Growth of Remittances and Cryptocurrencies in Africa
Remittances and fiat currency devaluation drive Africa’s growing cryptocurrency economy — and big exchanges recognize the opportunity. Remittances are an early use case for the developing African cryptocurrency economy.
The site shows that the growing trend in remittances is driven by the dependence of many Africans on overseas labor remittances. It points out:
“Africa has the smallest cryptocurrency economy of any region we analyze in this report, with just $8.0 billion worth having been received and $8.1 billion sent on-chain in the last year. However, that relatively small amount of activity is creating life-changing value for users in the region facing economic instability, offering low-fee remittances and an alternative way to save.”
The site explains:
“Similar to Latin America and other regions in the developing world, overseas remittances are a crucial part of the economy for many parts of Africa. A 2018 study from the Pew Research Center found that Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for eight of the ten countries with the fastest-growing international migrant populations since 2010, growing by 50% between 2010 and 2017 compared to the worldwide average of 17%. The roughly 25 million expats of Sub-Saharan African countries living abroad remitted $48 billion in fiat back to the region in 2019.”
Africa: Next Tech Frontier
Is The Next Silicon Valley in Africa? shows growing the high-tech regions in Africa.
The article shows Silicon Valley’s growing interest in Africa.
Africa is also taking big strides in technology now. Africa could become the new Silicon Valley.
See Forbes’ December 2019 article: Tech CEOs Visit Africa As ‘Source Of Innovation And Talent’.
Netflix Chooses Zimbabwean Telecom Billionaire
The Bloomberg article Netflix Names Zimbabwean Telecom Billionaire to Board as Part of Africa Growth Push Strive says:
“Masiyiwa is first African to join the streaming giant’s board of directors. Netflix Inc. appointed Zimbabwean billionaire Strive Masiyiwa to its board, adding its first African director as it looks to new markets for future growth.
Masiyiwa is the founder and executive chairman of Econet Global, a telecommunications company that operates across Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. Econet offers phone, broadband and satellite service, and is also a major provider of mobile payments. Masiyiwa brings a fresh set of connections and experience as the first African — and the third international media executive — to join Netflix’s board in recent years.”
“Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai on Thursday, July 27, visited Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital. During his visit, Mr. Pichai announced at a conference, plans by the internet giant to provide more than $3 million in equity-free funding and mentorship to more than 60 African start-ups over the next three years. Mr. Pichai is the latest, in a list of Silicon Valley executives that have visited Africa in recent months. Earlier in July, Jack Ma, the CEO and founder of e-commerce company Ali Baba toured east Africa (Kenya and Rwanda) in what his close aides described as a mission to inspire young African IT entrepreneurs.”
“On closer inspection however, the recent visits to Africa by the executives of some of the biggest companies in Silicon Valley should come as no surprise; Nigeria currently ranks as number one among Google users in Africa and number eight in the world, while Kenya is a world leader in mobile banking services with more than a third of the country’s population registered as users on the e-money platform M-pesa…
With growth apparently leveling off in America and Europe, Africa is the logical next frontier for some of the world’s biggest tech companies. With a burgeoning middle-class, a youthful population and increased internet penetration, the continent presents a massive market with opportunities that can’t be found anywhere else.”
Rap Superstar Builds “Crypto City” in Africa
“Akon plans to build a $6 billion development in Senegal called AkonCity. Rap superstar, and Senegal transplant, Akon is using his fame and changing the world. In 2018, he began a solar investment program in Sierra Leone to bring thousands of solar powered lights and traffic lights to the people, which was successful.
Now, he’s moving forward with plans to build an entire ‘crypto city’ to help pull Africa’s economy out of poverty and corruption. The city will be known as “Akon City” and will trade exclusively in his own digital cash currency called AKoin. Currently, the city is a vacant 2,000 acre plot just south of Senegal’s capital, Dakar but big plans are underway and Akon has already proven his ability to get things done.
Throughout Africa, corrupt governments print money to finance their spending which has created an inflation epidemic on a massive scale. Some countries have seen inflation rates topping 800 percent. For those struggling to get by, watching their money lose most of its value, literally overnight, is a horrifying fate. To combat this problem, many folks across the continent are switching to cryptocurrency.”
The AKOIN: One Africa/ One Currency site says: “Akoin is a cryptocurrency powered by a blockchain based eco-system of tools and services designed for entrepreneurs in the rising economies of Africa.”
21st Century Nikola Tesla Is From Zimbabwe
Meanwhile, in a further sign of innovation in Africa, Maxwell Chikumbutso, a Zimbabwean genius, is being dubbed the “Nikola Tesla of the 21st century” for his invention of the Greener Power Machine (GPM) which runs on free energy from radio frequencies and was featured in Thrive II: This Is What It Takes in 2020. His site says it can scale to power nations. His car is powered initially by a GPM and then by motion.
Maxwell Chikumbutso’s Game-Changing Free Energy Devices! and 21st Century Nikola Tesla — Maxwell Chikumbutso! feature the potentially game-changing free energy technology. Can Greener Power Machines Help Texas Grid Now? shows that Chikumbutso’s Greener Power Machine and car may be the solution for the Texas grid which failed in February and left millions of people without electricity, light, heat, water, and food during a record cold snap.
Chikumbutso’s car may provide the answer to Tesla owners who were charged $900 to power up during the grid failure. The car is initially powered by a Greener Power Machine and then powers itself when in motion. Even First Responders were affected when gas stations could not pump gas.
The trend is clear — tech titans and decentralization innovators alike have taken a deep interest in Africa’s role for the future of economic development across the world.
As part of the wider movement returning to Africa – The African Diaspora – also read my articles:
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