Chief Economist at PwC Nigeria Andrew Nevin has touted blockchain to play a huge part in driving the future of Africa’s economy.
Nevin was speaking at a tech event held in Lagos, themed “Blockchain, AI Digital Virtual Financial Assets and Other Technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
Blockchain can promote Africa’s economic growth
The Big Four accounting and advisory executive said that blockchain holds promise to drive economic growth across Africa, owing to its potential role in trade and politics. He explained that the decentralized and transparent nature of blockchain makes it appealing to help ensure efficient trade system across Africa and greater transparency in the election process.
Nevin even cited De Beers platform example, stating that distributed ledger is already being used to help trace supply chain of diamonds from mine to shop floor. The technology provides an immutable record of every diamond registered, allowing buyers to verify that the diamond is authentic and ethically sourced.
Africa’s economic growth is projected to grow at 3.9% annually for the next five years. As one of the largest economies in the continent, Nigeria is leading the region in adopting new digital practices from around the globe. So far, a number of businesses in the country have consequently embarked on digitalizing processes to enhance efficiency and reduce costs. For instance, the Nigeria Customs Service has seen remarkable improvement of its services by deploying blockchain for excise duty and tax collection.
The digitalization wave is sweeping across the continent, with several countries displaying conducive factors to a digital environment. Kenya, for example, has already established itself as the global leader in mobile money transfer services. Global technology firms such as Google, Microsoft, IBM and Samsung all have regional offices in Nairobi.
Blockchain and 3D Printing
Nevin also highlighted that blockchain and 3D printing are two crucial technologies that could potentially drive the regional economy’s growth. Blockchain distributed ledger goes a long way in transforming businesses and cutting costs— a boon for smaller domestic businesses across the continent. 3D printing technology, on the other hand, allows small businesses to compete with big corporations by lowering the costs of manufacturing.
“In the past, the cost of 3D printing was expensive, and the technology was available only to large corporations, but the development of desktop 3D printers has made the technology more accessible to small and mid-sized businesses and home users.”
PwC operates in over 158 countries worldwide and has offices in Nigeria, Ghana, Algeria, Kenya, South Africa, among others.