This article was contributed to TechCabal by Ifelade Ayodele.

By 2050, a staggering one in four people globally will be African. This demographic surge underscores the pressing need for seamless interconnectivity and transactions within the continent. Despite being categorised as a developing continent, Africa is a hotbed of technological innovation, embracing change and producing some of the world’s brightest minds who are driving breakthroughs across industries. However, the stark reality remains: facilitating transactions within Africa often proves more challenging than international remittances.

For years, the African diaspora and businesses operating across the continent have grappled with significant hurdles in sending money and facilitating transactions. Although payment gateways like Payaza have made strides in streamlining this process, substantial obstacles persist, hindering Africa’s economic potential.

The root causes of this dilemma are multifaceted. Firstly, Africa’s varied monetary landscape poses a formidable challenge. Unlike Europe’s euro, the UK’s pound or the US dollar, most African countries operate with distinct currencies—Nigeria’s naira, Ghana’s cedi, Senegal’s CFA franc, and many others—creating a complex tapestry of monetary systems even among neighbouring nations.

Secondly, regulatory barriers compound this complexity. In the European Union (EU), a single licence grants operational access across the continent via a regulatory provision known as passporting, on the other hand, operating in different African countries requires separate registrations, compliance with varying regulations, and navigating diverse barriers. This lack of regulatory harmonisation hinders efficiency and productivity.

Perhaps a greater unification, akin to the vision of entities like ECOWAS, extending beyond mere passport access to encompass streamlined regulations and operational ease, could pave the way for a more integrated African economic landscape.

Nevertheless, where challenges exist, opportunities abound. The potential for intra-African transactions is vast, with over 20 million people—surpassing the combined total of over 15 million migrants across the US, UK, Canada, and Europe—migrating within the continent, seeking ways to send money back home.

While currency unification could offer a solution, more is needed. However, the strategic application of artificial intelligence (AI), coupled with harnessing the expertise and passion of talented individuals, holds immense promise in addressing these issues. Employing cutting-edge AI technology for real-time transaction routing and providing instant updates on the most efficient methods for transferring money across Africa could revolutionise business operations within the continent and empower Africans to thrive in an interconnected global economy.

As we continue to refine and implement these solutions, we envision a future where conducting transactions within Africa is as seamless as it is across the continent, unlocking unprecedented opportunities for growth and prosperity.

Together, let us embark on this transformative journey towards a more interconnected and prosperous Africa, where monetary barriers are no longer an impediment to realising our continent’s vast potential.

Ifelade Ayodele is the CEO and Founder of Blaaiz, an early-stage cross-border payments company revolutionising financial transactions for businesses and individuals across Africa, Canada, the US, and Europe. He is also a director at Payaza Africa Ltd. Before founding Blaaiz, Ifelade distinguished himself as a leader in the management consulting arena at Accenture UK.

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