Few disruptive technologies have seized the world’s attention like blockchain. Blockchain can revolutionize the transfer of value like the internet revolutionized the transfer of information. The ten largest companies in the world are exploring blockchain, such as China National Petroleum and Berkshire Hathaway, as are most of the Fortune 500. Countless startups are cropping up around the technology. Still, despite the hype, few people know what blockchain actually is and how it works. This paper explored the utility and potential of blockchain technologies for AfricInvest, a private equity firm based in Tunisia that invests predominantly in growing and midsize companies in Africa.
The report is composed of six sections. First is an introductory chapter on blockchain and its key features. Second, an analysis of micro and macroeconomic country data to provide context for the current state of the financial sector in Africa. Third, several case studies explore how blockchain has been used by retail banks, insurance companies, and start-ups. Fourth is a comparative analysis of the case studies, illustrating conditions for successful blockchain implementation such as infrastructure, policies, and consumer behaviors. Fifth, a conclusion that blockchain has been and can continue to be successfully replicated in the African financial market and that it can be successfully utilized by AfricInvest’s portfolio companies. Sixth, a roadmap of steps to successfully implement blockchain technology as well as recommendations for how AfricInvest and its portfolio companies can potentially leverage blockchain in the future.