The rest of the world could be all in with cryptocurrencies, but Africa is lagging above all because only a fraction of its population knows digital currencies. Honestly, digital currencies propagate and thrive especially in areas where Internet connectivity is not as big a problem as it is in Africa.
To begin with, a report published by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) indicates that governments will have to spend over 450 billion dollars to connect the next phase of 1.5 billion people to the Internet, and most of these people lives in Africa. At present, the African population amounts to about 1.2 billion people.
The African Situation
The most worrying fact is that even with nearly a fifth of the world's population living on the continent, African governments spend only a third of the total world spending on broadband connection. Beyond that, the low levels of literacy in Africa represent a serious obstacle to Internet use. A couple that with high internet rates and a continent almost completely unrelated to the Internet.
Of course, there have been many speeches and theories about Africa as the next global economic front, but concrete facts indicate that such economic initiatives, particularly the current global buzz on encrypted ones, can only be successful if there is sufficient internet access at low costs. This is not the current case in Africa, and this means that the cryptocurrencies are having difficulty thriving in the financial and economic environments of the continent.
However, much as most regions and the majority of the population in Africa can not access the Internet, some countries have taken significant steps in improving Internet connectivity and providing a favorable environment for the cryptocurrencies. In South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Ghana and Nigeria, the encrypted have received a positive reception. Bitcoin is still the dominant cryptocurrency.
According to the UTI report titled "The State of Broadband 2018: Broadband Catalyzing Sustainable Development", governments can significantly improve internet connectivity using satellite technologies to connect remote areas.
The report published by Internet World Stats puts Internet connectivity in Africa at just 27.7% in 2017. The same year, 49.6% of the world was already connected. This low connectivity in Africa is the bottleneck that afflicts the growth and adoption of cryptocurrencies in the continent.
However, the general consensus is that Africa could become a leader in the adoption of cryptography and in blockchain-related investments – if only it could overcome the current challenges.