Intelligent CIO Africa Issue 65 | Page 46


Blockchain is propelling finance , trade and government initiatives in Africa

Blockchain is a type of distributed ledger for maintaining a permanent and tamper-proof record of transactional data . A Blockchain functions as a decentralised database that is managed by computers belonging to a peer-to-peer ( P2P ) network . Industry experts share with Intelligent CIO Africa how enterprises are adopting Blockchain technology to drive finance and trade on the continent .

In the past , Blockchains were commonly associated with digital currencies such as Bitcoin or alternate versions of Bitcoin like Bitcoin Cash . Now , Blockchain applications are being explored in many industries as a secure and cost-effective way to create and manage a distributed database and maintain records for digital transactions of all types .

Mervyn George , Innovation Strategy Lead , SAP Africa , said the shared , distributed and decentralised capabilities of Blockchain are finding their way into the mainstream with great potential .
George said ambitious entrepreneurs and innovators are investing long hours and mind-boggling sums of money to rework anything from automating finance and restoring public trust in healthcare to feeding over 10 billion people by 2050 and providing disaster relief to remote villagers .
“ Blockchain is a distributed ledger , which involves recording transactions in blocks that are linked and secured by cryptography and then verified and stored across a network , making the ledger resistant to modification ,” he said . “ The interesting part is that this combination of capabilities in computing , connectivity and cryptography has applications not only in the financial world , but in any transactional environment , including a decentralised personal data management system that ensures users own and control their data .”
46 INTELLIGENTCIO AFRICA www . intelligentcio . com