Tarnished by its association with cryptocurrencies in the minds of many people around the world, blockchain is actually a groundbreaking innovation expected to become commonplace in the near future.

Blockchain is an extremely secure system to store and manage digital data and information. Initially developed a decade ago to support cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology is now being adopted in a very broad range of sectors from finance and banking through land governance, retail and manufacturing to medical health and military applications.

While little more than a quarter of the people in Africa have internet; access is growing exponentially and the World Bank aims to achieve universal connectivity across the continent by 2030.

Almost 66 percent of Africa is currently unbanked and finance is rapidly becoming decentralized across the continent. M-Pesa, Momo and other mobile money solutions are booming. Financial technology outfits referred to as FinTechs are totally reliant on digital communications.

Security is critical.

Zianah Muddu, the Engagement Partner with Financial Technologies Service Providers Association (FITSPA) Uganda, explained blockchain will build trust and efficiency while increasing access across Africa.

A blockchain database stores data in discrete blocks linked together using highly encrypted messages.
New data is entered into blocks and once the block is filled a new block is created and all the blocks are linked together in a chain.
The decentralized ledger system has no entrances that can be hacked or points that can expose the entire dataset. Moreover no single entity is in control. Rather all users have collective control and can access, view, record and share transactional data encrypted on a specific blockchain.

About the Author: Christopher Burke

Christopher has 30 years’ experience working with media and managing communications, advocacy and advisory in Africa and East Asia. He has a deep understanding of marketing, brand positioning and strategic communication and has worked with a diverse range of companies, governments and multilateral institutions in public affairs and policy development.

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