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Cryptocurrency: The ‘Afro’ struggles to become the bitcoin of Africa

By Crézia Ndongo
Posted on Friday, 25 June 2021 08:09

The French-Tunisian Thameur Hemdane (founder of Afrikwity, a crowdfunding platform) and the Burkinabe economist Daniel Ouédraogo, at the Vivatech trade fair, in Paris, at the end of June 2021. Photo provided by the Afro Foundation.

Three years after the cryptocurrency Afro was created by a foundation of the same name, it has yet to fulfil its pan-African mission. It joins the ranks of other crypto wannabes on the continent; who rub shoulders with more criminal enterprises. In South Africa, two brothers have disappeared, seeming to have taken $3.6bn from their Africrypt Bitcoin trading platform with them.

When Afro was founded in 2018, the 30-odd members of the Afro Foundation were bent on creating it to be the leading cryptocurrency in Africa.

Based out of their Geneva headquarters and Paris, the team of artists (Mansour Ciss Kanakassy), experts (Karim Zine-Eddine, Thameur Hemdane) and lawyers (Fabien Lawson, Fortuné Ahoulouma) set out to develop a cryptocurrency that would reduce transaction costs in every corner of the African continent.