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EFA Hosted a Session on Blockchain

EFA hosted a session on the use of blockchain in Africa. The panelists came from the Ugandan Communications Commission, the African Civil Society Association for the Information Society (ACSIS), DHL’s Blockchain Centre of Excellence, and the XDC Foundation (a blockchain provider). The session outlined some of the ways in which blockchain solutions can be used to assist trade across frontiers, such as the work DHL is doing to provide pre-clearance e-documentation for customs, and the work on verification of businesses and products that XDC provides. It was noted that the major developed markets (such as the EU and US) were tightening their import requirements to prevent either child/forced labour made goods or counterfeits. Blockchain solutions can identify these goods.

The session also discussed the urgent need for relevant skills to develop blockchain, according to ACSIS only 5 full blockchain companies exist in Africa today, and in general the need to reform education systems in order to introduce the digital economy into schools from Primary grades onwards. The panel also discussed the need for more and better data collection in Africa, noting that blockchain is only efficient if it has sufficient ‘clean’ data to work on.

The session left aside the use of blockchain for cryptocurrencies as this issue had been addressed elsewhere.

Correction – last month we reported on a new EU directive that will require due diligence from importers of products to the EU. We gave the impression that this will apply to all importers. The draft law will only apply to large importers. We will continue to monitor the directive as it goes through the process.

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