Blockchain Opportunities in Africa

Blockchain is an emerging technology that offers the possibility of re-engineering economic models and enabling the creation of markets and products that were previously unavailable or unpro table across emerging markets. While Europe and the United States continue to lead the world in blockchain adoption and innovation, blockchain opportunities are also springing up across Africa and Latin America.

Two critical attributes of the blockchain in particular—the reduction of agency costs and auditable traceability—may help to boost trade facilitation as well as ensure compliance with speci c goals regarding sustainability and inclusion. Two supply chains where specific experimentation with blockchain is taking place are food and agribusiness, and pharmaceutical safety.

In a recent International Finance Corporation (IFC) working paper, Blockchain: Opportunities for Private Enterprises in Emerging Markets, authors Marina Niforos, Vijaya Ramachandran, and Thomas Rehermann explore how blockchain could play a role in the digital transformation of financial services and other industries. They also discuss how it could address some of the financial challenges facing emerging markets—including those in Africa.

The extensive use of mobile based services in Africa provides an easy avenue for a blockchain-based system to extend its services. South Africa also boasts a blockchain-curious and active nancial sector looking to improve existing company operations through process re-engineering and cost reduction.

Read the whole “Blockchain: Opportunities for Private Enterprises in Emerging Markets” report at worldbank.org