This week saw the launch of the African Digital Asset Framework (ADAF), a pan-African organization aimed at promoting cryptocurrency-based trade across the continent and amongst the African diaspora.
The new body will support another important programme, the Single African Digital Market initiative, which also promotes the use of new technology in the digitized economy. The ADAF has some strong backing on the continent of Africa, backed by ambassadors of the African Union and its member states and the African Development Bank (AfDB).
With African countries accounting for only 11 percent of the continent’s collective gross domestic product, the initial move of the new body was to examine a research paper which outlines the significance of digital currencies such as Bitcoin becoming the backbone of a borderless digital economy across the continent and around the globe. Co-founder Felix Macharia said ADAF explains the framework’s raison d’etre:
“ADAF was formed by organizations in the digital asset space who looked to harmonize standards and regulation in the space… Digital assets know no borders. If Africa is to benefit from the full potential of distributed ledger technologies and even from agreements around free trade, we must start drafting standards, legislation and regulations that are in line with this new reality.”
The ADAF certainly doesn’t come from humble beginnings as it originated as an idea on Nelson Mandela International Day at the United Nations in July. The pan-African initiative now carries significant weight including amongst other heavyweights, the former president of Mauritius Dr. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim and Queen Diambi Kabatusuila Tshiyoyo Muata of DRC’s Kasai Kingdom.
The platform will display policy proposals for different commercial sectors, data on sustainable development objectives which will include input from community members. Also, there will be a multi-lingual interface for all contributors to put forward suggestions for changes to current self -regulation, and solutions to current problems in the African cryptocurrency space.
In an online statement the ADAF suggested:
“Digital assets create a secure way for people to trade, peer-to-peer, across borders, enabling people to securely access and transfer items like currency, identities, land titles and votes over the internet,” adding that the platform had been implemented for the purpose of “encouraging digital asset ownership and value exchange in digital economies between Africans and its diaspora.”
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