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3 Reasons Why You Should Consider Investing in Africa’s Agricultural Industry

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Africa’s Agriculture Industry

For frontier markets investors, Africa’s agriculture industry provides highly-interesting investment opportunities as it is a market with a high upside potential for growth.

In this article, you will be introduced to three reasons why you should consider investing in Africa’s agricultural sector.

Africa will become the “breadbasket of the world”

Africa has been referred to as the “breadbasket of the world” due to the vast resources and (potential) farming land it possesses.

In 2011, Kanayo Nwanze, president of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), an agency of the UN, claimed that Africa should not only be able to feed itself but also the rest of the world.

Kindie Tesfaye, a scientist with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in Addis Ababa, echoed Nwanze´s statement when he told Reuters in 2016 that if African governments could manage to implement the right policies to empower its farming industry, “then it could feed itself and even be a breadbasket for the rest of the world.”

Many governments across the continent have acknowledged the need for improvement in their agricultural industries and have started to take steps to improve food production and security to prepare themselves for growing local and international demand.

Africa has high local demand for agricultural products

AfricaCurrently, Africa has a population of just over one billion people and it is expected that this figure will reach 2.5 billion by the year 2050. That means that local demand for agricultural products will steadily increase over the years as there will be more and more mouths to feed.

Interestingly, despite its large farming sector, Africa still spends billions each year to import a substantial amount of agricultural products such as flour, grain, and other food products it can produce locally.

This creates an opportunity for local farmers and agribusiness entrepreneurs to profit from increasing local demand going forward.

New technologies are making African farmers more productive

Technology has had a massive positive impact on the African continent and has affected a wide range of industries including the agricultural sector. It is, therefore, no surprise that the agritech startup sector is booming on the continent. Over $19 million was invested in tech startups that are providing value-adding solutions to Africa’s farming sector over the last two years.

Botswana-based company Plaas, for example, is developing a blockchain platform for farmers that will “enable individual farmers or co-operatives to manage their daily farming productions and stocks on the blockchain.” Moreover, the application – targeted at small-scale African farmers – will provide a marketplace where farmers can buy and sell products. Also, the application will provide farm-to-table tracking to increase food security on the continent. 

Disclaimer: Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the company, product or service. BitcoinAfrica.io is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any loss or damage caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, product or service mentioned in this sponsored post.

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4 Things You Should Know About Investing in Cryptocurrencies

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investing in cryptocurrencies

If you go through any blog or information platform related to finance and investments, you would have certainly come across the word ‘cryptocurrency.’ In recent years, cryptoassets like bitcoin have been dominating the headlines as more and more people are developing an interest in this sphere. Prices have skyrocketed and are projected to increase further in the next few years.

Despite the influx of new investors, you might be a bit skeptical as to what investing in cryptocurrency actually entails and how suitable it will be for you to do so. Here are a few points you should go through to understand if investing in cryptocurrencies is a good idea:

1. Blockchain technology is the future

Almost all cryptocurrencies rely on blockchain technology to function. The blockchain enables trustless, peer-to-peer transactions that are (generally) recorded on a public ledger. 

Here’s how it works: the financial details of all the transactions ever made are recorded in the blockchain and can be viewed by anyone who wants to. Due to its success in the cryptocurrency industry, blockchain technology is now being adopted by various financial institutions to keep track of transactions. Blockchain technology is poised to dominate systems in the future and it will be good to become acquainted with the technology early on.

2. Improved regulations

As it has developed, the rise of Bitcoin has brought in several regulations. Governments of various countries, where crypto is used widely, have taken several steps to put regulations in place that would ensure that investors’ money is secured and that they are protected from crypto scammers.

In the initial years of Bitcoin, many people were skeptical of investing because they believed that there was too much of a free reign and it needed some regulations in place to ensure investors’ safety. With actions by financial regulators, most of their doubts have been removed as there is now lesser uncertainty in investing in crypto. 

3. The investing process is quite simple

As cryptocurrencies are now becoming increasingly popular, with more and more people investing in it, startups are simplifying the process of investing even further to attract more people. Much of these simplifications can be owed to cryptocurrency exchanges that have been set up over the past few years.

Cryptocurrency wallets have also eased the process as you can simply purchase the services of one with your credit/debit card and then use it to store all of your cryptocurrency in a secure manner. All you need to do is to find a suitable platform to trade cryptocurrency.

Make sure that you spend time to go through the conditions of different platforms and select the ones you feel the most secure about. When you make a purchase via the platform, the crypto will be transferred to your virtual wallet where it will be kept securely until you sell it off or use it for transactions.

You can find a broad explanation of the investing process at the top10cryptobots website to solidify your knowledge about digital asset market trends.

4. Investors don’t have to go through dozens of metrics

There is a set of metrics established for assigning value to any tradable asset. If you take the example of the most common investing platforms – the stock exchanges – you’ll see that investors look for different variables of stocks like their income statements and balance sheets. Investors usually look at fundamentals before assigning value to any asset and then deciding whether or not to invest in it.

In cryptocurrency, this set of predetermined metrics does not exist (yet). You have to look for various trends in the crypto market and decide for yourself when the time is right to invest. 

What is crypto’s future?

how to short bitcoinThis is perhaps the most important question that you would have as a potential investor in bitcoin. Ever since its inception, the cryptocurrency industry has achieved one milestone after another. Prices have been soaring, and more and more investors are trying to get a piece of the pie.

And it’s not just the major assets, like bitcoin, that have seen a positive trend, even the newer ones are witnessing it.

At a time like this, when financial institutions across the world are struggling, and when there have been so many upheavals in the global economy, looking for alternative investments makes sense. 

Up until now, banks were considered the safest place for keeping your money. But in the past several years, we have seen how major banks have sunk overnight and have failed to repay account holders. Investing in stocks has also become very risky. Cryptocurrencies have shown an overall increase in prices even after so many crises all across the globe. Further, these prices are expected to soar even more within the next five years. In fact, it is being predicted that Bitcoin would surpass its all-time high of $19,783.

Making a decision of investing in something you haven’t done before can seem like a bit of a gamble. But keeping all these points in mind, it would be safe to say that if you get a proper understanding of how crypto world works, you could do well with your digital asset investments.

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Blockchain, Cloud, and Other Modern Technologies Applied in Gaming

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Technologies Applied in Gaming

Gaming has evolved tremendously since its beginnings. New technology discoveries enabled developers to create games that take the concept of fantasy to the next level, making the virtual world so much more alike to the real one. This is only possible through the implementation of new technologies in the world of gaming.

In this article, we will cover the newest technologies that have made their way into gaming, further enhancing this industry.

Blockchain

Kenya Blockchain Report

Since its invention, blockchain was quickly implemented in gaming since it allows for the creation of peer-to-peer games where users can interact without the need of a third party. This aspect made it a great fit for gambling, allowing casinos to build platforms where users can gamble directly with one another in a free and private manner.

An online casino app can already allow people to gamble in a convenient way, as long as they have Internet access. These apps are very advantageous since players don’t have any location or time zone restraints. Furthermore, online casinos are pioneers in privacy and cybersecurity, offering users an all-around quality experience.

However, blockchain can still further improve the gambling and gaming worlds. The potential of this technology is still unfulfilled but, as new startups emerge, innovation follows, making blockchain an ever more viable option for the future of gaming.

Cloud Gaming

The case for cloud gaming makes a lot of sense in 2020. Games are getting bigger each year, the hardware requirements increasing constantly. This makes it difficult for the recreational gamer to keep up with the minimum gaming standards. Updating hardware pieces can be a tedious process that many people don’t want to engage in.

Cloud technologies can allow people to play even the latest games, regardless of the type of machine they are using. Google Stadia is one of the most popular cloud gaming platforms out there. The opinions regarding its performance are varied but, Google is certainly the one company that can pull off this concept.

Ultra Realistic Graphics

Video game graphics are becoming insanely realistic. Sometimes it’s very difficult to discern between reality and a virtual game. This aspect allows for the creation of a more immersive experience, enhancing the entertainment experienced by users. Popular games like GTA 5, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Witcher 3 have some of the best graphics out there, while still being resource effective.

Facial Recognition

Some games tell the story of a protagonist, making you fall in love with that character regardless if it’s Master Chief from Halo or Mario. However, other games allow you to create an avatar, custom to your liking. Until now, this feature was technologically constrained but, facial recognition and 3D scanning can allow you to create an avatar that looks just like you. This technology can personalise the gaming experience like never before.

Virtual Reality

An obvious one on this list, VR is the one technology that can revolutionise the way we interact with games. Whilst this is still experimental and reliant on advanced hardware, with a bit more work and a few more years of waiting, VR can be a commercially viable gaming niche. Regardless if we’re talking about an online casino or an action game, VR can provide the ultimate immersive experience.

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Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Warms to Financial Innovation

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Financial Innovation

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) is warming to the idea of emerging financial technologies as it joins the rest of the world in cautiously welcoming digital money. This was revealed when the RBZ governor, John Mangudya, presented the country’s monetary policy statement for the year 2020 on February 17.

The latest announcement is a continuation of the central bank’s rapprochement towards emerging financial innovations after a turbulent 2018 when it had run-ins with technology companies that sold or facilitated the sale of crypto tokens to the Zimbabwean public.

RBZ’s Change of Heart

The RBZ now agrees that technology and innovations have significantly altered the financial landscape and the way financial institutions offer services and products and that Zimbabwe needs to move with the times.

In his brief statement on the topic, the governor touched on the RBZ’s progress in establishing a regulatory sandbox that will allow innovators to connect to banks and other financial institutions.

Mangudya said:

“Further to the advice in the 2019 Mid Term Monetary Policy Statement, the Bank (RBZ) has embarked on several initiatives to establish the Fintech agenda. The Bank is in the process of finalizing a regulatory sandbox framework. The framework will outline the qualification, application and evaluation criterion for entities to be admitted into the sandbox. The operationalisation of the framework will thus promote competition and efficiencies through innovation.”

RBZ now says banking institutions must upgrade their information communication technologies (ICTs) to be system consistent with developments in the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’. Additionally, banks are expected to explore new technologies and business models to enable them to compete in the digital age.

Statement Vague on Critical Aspects

However, the statement does not address the question of whether fintech ventures, such as privately issued cryptocurrencies, remain banned or not. There is still confusion on whether it is cryptocurrency trading that is banned or if it is the selling of tokens to the public that is banned.

The RBZ, which lacks a consistent and coherent position on this subject, appears to be reading from the same script as many of its peers from the continent. Several African central banks have previously shown a determined opposition towards privately issued tokens and the underlying blockchain technology.

Nevertheless, as the ignorance levels concerning this innovation continue to drop, so too has been the opposition. In fact, many central banks believe they can join in this space by creating their own cryptocurrencies, called central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).

Some are at very advanced stages of issuing these while others are still at the studying stage. On the African continent, the Egyptian central bank had indicated its intention to launch its own CBDC as well as Ghana and Mauritius. 

The RBZ has announced an intention to issue its own CBDC but a mere statement was enough to spark excitement among the country’s blockchain industry players.

Cautious Welcome

Cryptocurrency Token SalesBitcoinAfrica.io asked Zimbabweans involved in the country’s small blockchain space for their reaction to this latest announcement by the RBZ.

We reached out to Mike Makazhe, a young entrepreneur who says he is working to create a cryptocurrency for Zimbabweans.

Makazhe said: “I think financial institutions need to improve. It’s true most of their services are outdated and Pecunia (his crypto project) can help bring this (expected) to life.”

Another influential figure in Zimbabwe’s blockchain space, who did not wish to be identified, was less sanguine about this latest announcement.

He said: “The only thing I think about it is they are taking a dribble. They are happy with a broken system because it works in their favour.”

According to him, the RBZ is just putting on a show but lacks the will to actually implement some of the fintech proposals contained in the monetary policy.

The same sentiments were echoed by another crypto enthusiast who commented on this development in one crypto chat group on social media. The individual also noted that there was a lot of emphasis on banks and less on the private players that fall outside the RBZ’s regulatory reach.

These were also the sentiments shared by other individuals in the crypto community. They cautiously welcome this announcement but say the RBZ should be judged on implementation not the intention.

Zimbabwean institutions like the RBZ are notorious for taking their time to adopt technologies and systems that improve efficiency but are quick to implement anything that improves collection of revenues or the scarce foreign currency.

For example, it has taken the RBZ several years to capacitate a credit reference bureau, a body that can potentially end the country’s problem of high levels of non-performing loans. Some fear the same approach will be used on fintechs and the country will lag behind as the rest of the continent move ahead to adopt this innovation.

Zimbabwe’s small fintech industry expects the RBZ to issue more statements that clarify the country’s position as the year progresses. 

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