African Countries Look to Bitcoin to Create Jobs and Solve Unemployment
Cryptocurrencies have gained traction worldwide, and African countries are no strangers to their use. In most cases, bitcoin and other digital coins provide opportunities to generate passive income by investing in cryptocurrencies on specialized exchanges and storing the tokens in virtual wallets until the asset’s price grows high enough to make a profit. The reigning coin’s finite supply of 21 million coins attracts future-oriented investors, as scarcity is one way to make an asset inflation-proof. Given their potential for revenue growth and increased popularity, more and more individuals turn to digital assets to diversify their investment portfolio, with some looking to buy Bitcoin with credit card, among other payment options.
While cryptocurrencies have become popular investment options in developed countries, Africa’s case differs slightly. Countries on this continent look to Bitcoin to reduce the number of jobless individuals and solve some of the most difficult challenges pressing their communities for decades. Studies from the United Nations show that Africa, with a population of a little over 1.4 billion, has the youngest population worldwide, with only 30% of sub-Saharan being over 30 years old. Also, reports from the Africa Development Bank found a worrying disparity between the number of jobs created and the number of youngsters entering the workforce yearly. 3.1 million job positions open annually, insufficient for the 10-12 million youngsters joining the labor force each year, leading to a high unemployment rate. As such, many young Africans are on the lookout for jobs and opportunities to become more financially stable.
Africa faces many challenges, like a low digital adoption rate and high electricity costs. However, Bitcoin and other digital coins can potentially reduce the unemployment rate in Africa and bolster job creation among the jobless, securing a better future and attracting further investments.
Bitcoin is set to solve some of the employment challenges in Africa
A global, open, and inclusive financial system is important for the economic growth of African countries. The continent ranks among the fastest-growing cryptocurrency markets worldwide and aims to become a cryptocurrency hub. As the rate at which Bitcoin is being used grows across the continent, so does the demand for crypto experts that can fill the open positions in the blockchain industry.
Reports from LinkedIn showed a year-over-year rise of 76% in the number of individuals working in this sector in June 2022. According to the Central Intelligence Agency, most of the merit is being accredited to Nigeria, the country expected to become the fourth largest population worldwide, seeing its population grow to 392 million by 2050. Last year, according to the same LinkedIn report, Nigeria ranked fourth among the countries with the highest blockchain talent growth rate, witnessing an estimated 81% increase.
This appeals to entrepreneurs willing to profit from the fertile ground that African communities enable through the talent and potential yet to be taken advantage of. Suppose businesses focus on developing a talent pool of blockchain-skilled African employees. In that case, they may create new jobs and help the country reduce unemployment, leading to long-term financial stability.
The Bitcoin network can provide myriad employment opportunities to Africans of all ages, especially youngsters, creating well-paid jobs in an increasingly digitalized and interconnected economy.
Here are some examples of careers in the blockchain ecosystem that could see increased popularity in Africa in the upcoming decades:
- Blockchain developers. As the name implies, blockchain developers are responsible for creating and optimizing blockchain protocols, testing systems and software, and understanding the many intricacies of this revolutionary technology. According to Talent.com, an employment-focused platform centralizing jobs and providing insights into the industry, the average blockchain developer in the United States receives $70.31 per hour, with the average annual salary ranging from $124,257 for entry-level positions to $181,375 for the experienced employee. This job involves plenty of skills in cryptography and programming, making it difficult to enter, but with enough training, African youngsters might fulfill the need for blockchain developers.
- Blockchain product managers. Jobs in blockchain product management also necessitate a high skill level and expanded knowledge of this technology, as well as keeping constantly updated on the newest trends. As blockchain technology boosts socio-economic growth across Africa, blockchain product management might prove rewarding.
- Customer support assistants. Like in any other sector relying on technology, customer support assistants who can help users navigate different digital platforms are also needed in the blockchain. Most positions in the United States and Europe target remote employees who speak English and French fluently, but there are opportunities for African workers, too.
Non-profit programs educate Africans about Bitcoin
Blockchain technology is gaining traction across African countries. To prepare youngsters for a blockchain-oriented future, they must first have the educational opportunities and tools to understand and learn how to use this technology. In light of these, several initiatives in their development stage directly involve educating, fostering, and recruiting African talent, paving the path for socio-economic development by enabling youngsters to contribute to the Bitcoin network. Qala, a non-profit program that trains and supports African talent to create the next generation of Bitcoin Core contributors, is an example of an initiative to minimize the disparity between the number of jobs created and workforce entrants. Even though, so far, the project has gained talent predominantly from Cameroon, Uganda, and Nigeria, it encourages every country to step in and work towards the same goal.
Innovation and proper work opportunities are key to overcoming employment issues and reducing the jobless rate. The decreased unemployment rate is what African economies look to achieve by taking advantage of the Bitcoin network and other cryptocurrencies.
Even though Africa is not among the most talked about continents in industry conversations, with North America and Asia being of utmost interest, Bitcoin is adopted at the fastest growing rate globally here, thus paving the path for new career options and opportunities to minimize the disparity between the number of newcomers in the workforce and the number of job positions available.