The blockchain to revolutionize the African land registry?

Not a week goes by without an article or event dedicated to the blockchain, which is supposed to radically transform the way our economies work. For many analysts, “block chain” technology can contribute to the development of the African continent, particularly by making its financial circuit more fluid. The blockchain, which functions as a kind of decentralised and unfalsifiable register, will play a central role in building trust on a continent where access to finance is extremely complicated, partly because of this lack of trust.

But beyond the financial sector, the blockchain will shake up many sectors, including agriculture. In the agricultural sector, blockchain has many applications. For example, the use of blockchain will improve the transparency of supply chains, particularly in terms of real-time supply management or the establishment of a “blockchained cadastral”.

In a recent article published in the French daily Le Monde, lawyers Stéphane Brabant and Gisèle Dutheuil explain how the use of digital cadastral can help to secure land transactions. For both lawyers, one of the major obstacles to a green revolution in Africa is explained by the issues linked to rural land. They believe that “the lack of formalization of land rights hinders investment in the agricultural sector. Exchanges, sales or rentals, more or less informal, are hazardous. The blockchain goes beyond the simple data backup that can be provided by tools such as GPS, this technology provides real credibility in land transactions. Thus, “the objective is to secure customary ownership certificates and rental contracts concluded on rural land” and thus “to promote investment and bank confidence”. 

While the agricultural potential of the African continent is well established, it is now a question of exploiting it for the greater benefit of all. The development of agritech thus makes it possible to consider a wide range of innovations throughout the agricultural value chain. An opportunity to maximize wealth and job creation in Africa, especially in rural areas.

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