The regulatory environment in Africa has been urged to support blockchain technology for transformation of farming and commodities trading on the continent.
Sandra Ro, CEO of the Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC) and chief
operating officer of London-based UWINCorp Ltd, the blockchain business aiming to transform farming and commodity trading in the developing world, said though Africans are among the most open to embracing blockchain technology, warns more still needs to be done to ensure the regulatory environment in Africa is as supportive as possible for the sector.
Ro, who is participating at this week’s Transform Africa Summit in Rwanda (7th – 9th May 2018), said Africa is set to benefit significantly from blockchain initiatives, and that Africa must be wary of a blockchain brain drain and ensure it creates the most appealing environment for tech innovators
She said that compared to other continents, Africa has fewer legacy systems to slow down the introduction of blockchain technology, and it can ‘leapfrog’ antiquated systems in much the same way as it bypassed the more expensive landlines in favour of mobile phones.
“Africa has long been associated with instability and poor financial and physical infrastructure, but it’s this environment where blockchain can thrive the most. Africa has enormous potential with so much of its population ‘unbanked’, and there are significant issues around land rights and registration all of which means millions of Africans are excluded from the global market economy, she said, adding that blockchain, coupled with key technologies like mobile and cloud solutions, offer a promising way to address these issues and Africa stands to benefit significantly if it truly embraces it.
“With UWIN for example, we are already in discussion with some African governments on how they could use our new and unique technology proposition that for the first time will enable farmers in the developing world to properly register their commodities, mobilise them and efficiently trade their produce on a trusted platform.
“However, as Africa builds on its reputation as a hub of blockchain innovation, it also runs the risk of a tech ‘brain drain’, in much the same way as it has seen with its medical profession with many nurses and doctors working overseas. One way to help tackle this is for African governments to make the continent the most appealing for blockchain innovators,” she highlighted.