Is the Blockchain a technological renaissance for Africa?


Block chain is a technology used by bitcoin to store data. Every transaction that is made in bitcoin creates a block which is then published into nodes. Several nodes or blocks make a block chain.

Block chain technology most of the time requires developed infrastructure which is not very common in Africa, this therefore means that it will take some time before the continent fully embraces the technology. In some of the tech savvy countries in Africa such as Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria and Tunisia it might however be adopted sooner than other countries. One factor that may hinder countries in Africa is the fact that most of the time bitcoin can be used for illegal purposes and the transaction cannot be traced. This may shun off potential investors from investing in its technology. There is however hope that despite everything block chain technology will grow in Africa. This is due to the fact that there are multinational banks that are trying out the technology and these banks are also in Africa. This means that eventually in the long run, block chain technology will be used in Africa. A good example of this is Barclays bank. It’s been speculated that maybe block chain will be the solution to corruption in Africa.

Block chain technology comes with many advantages and this is the primary reason why it should be adopted by all African countries fully. Some of its advantages are:

Efficiency: Block chain comes with efficiency as it can hold a lot of information but at the same time it can process the information at a very fast rate. This means that it can make transactions even fast. The fact that it is controlled by software contributes to its efficiency and thus can help in saving of time as well as space, infrastructure and labor. It acts as a ledger that records and validates the transactions that take place.

Security: Block chains are secure and have an integrated system that keeps information secure. It is a bit complicated that it is hard to leak information or be hacked. This therefore means that institutions can be sure that their information will be safe. Another factor that makes it secure it the fact that it is backed up by many computers that are in the bitcoin network, they keep record of every transaction that takes place. This computers act as miners. The fact that it is decentralized makes it hard for hackers to hack it as it is not owned by anyone.

Decentralization: Block chain technology is decentralized such that it is not owned by any central body. This fact makes it possible for peer to peer transactions to take place with no central body in control.

Some of the institutions that can benefit from block chain technology are:

Banks: They are the main group that can hugely benefit from block chain technology. Block chain can help banks to do their transactions in an efficient way while saving on labor and infrastructure. This therefore can help banks to grow at a fast rate. They can use block chain to handle payments and storing data and can be sure that the data is safe. Banks will always have many customers and they would need to keep their data in to the system which at times maybe too much, block chain can provide a solution to this as it’s a public ledger that records and validates transactions. This explains why there are many banks that are investing into the technology. We have international banks in Kenya who are also doing the research and even funding incubation labs to implement the technology.

Trading companies: They can benefit from block chain since block chain can help in shielding users against volatility that is in the money market. The fact that trading needs constant update of information so that one does not suffer loss makes block chain the preferred choice. Block chain has an automated system that constantly updates information. There are many bitcoin startups in Africa that have also diversified their services to also doing exchanges and this means there is a high chance of block chain being used in Africa in the near future.

Remittance companies: As we all know many of the bitcoin startups are involved in remittance and this is because bitcoin technology helps in cutting down of costs by doing away with many middlemen in the chain that may lead to high prices. Remittance companies especially those that are involved in bitcoin transactions may benefit from block chain technology in the sense that it can help in storing information and can help in doing automated transactions while constantly updating the information that is required. In the scenario of Africa, startups like ABC may be on the forefront in embracing this and this therefore means that it will not take long before the technology is fully embraced in Kenya.


Block chain technology will be embraced in many corporate companies and even government agencies. The fact that there are many learning forums in the continent and especially Kenya about bitcoins means that many people will have knowledge about it and venture into it. This means that there will be a lot of innovation and it will change how everything is done in the continent. It will help to solve many of Africa’s problems and increase efficiency and productivity. This will help Africa and particularly Kenya to be able to compete with other first world countries on a global scale. There are high chances that there will even be improvements in block chain and this will make it even better.

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