Photograph — Freepik

A few years ago, AI and blockchain were largely unfamiliar concepts in Africa. As of 2020, there was a significant digital divide in Africa. For example, only 28% of Africans had internet access compared to a global average of 56%. The World Bank identified limited infrastructure and technical expertise as the main reasons for the lack of widespread adoption. This meant adopting disruptive technologies like AI and Blockchain stood little chance. Moreso, in national conversations and policy discussions. However, since then, access to broadband internet in Africa has increased to 36%. In 2022, African blockchain startups raised $474 million, marking a 429% year-on-year increase. Countries like Kenya, South Africa, and Nigeria are among the top 10 globally for cryptocurrency use. Many African countries have increasingly embraced disruptive technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Blockchain to streamline operations, enhance transparency, and improve service delivery for citizens. From fighting corruption with blockchain to national currencies, the following African countries are leveraging disruptive tech to transform governance:


Mauritius stands out as a leader in AI governance. The country established a comprehensive national strategy based on four principles: to foster new and existing AI applications, build a robust AI ecosystem, invest in skills development, and establish regulatory frameworks to guide responsible AI adoption. This positions Mauritius to leverage AI across various sectors, including healthcare, fintech, and sustainability. For example, real-time traffic management systems are being developed in transportation to help protect communities. By 2030, AI is projected to contribute significantly to the nation’s economy, potentially reaching up to 10% of its overall GDP, currently valued at $11.5 billion.

South Africa

South Africa has a significantly developing economy and advanced infrastructure, including access to 5G networks and key cloud service providers. With a GDP of approximately $350 billion and internet penetration of 64%, this strong foundation provides a springboard for the nation to leverage AI effectively. South Africa is committed to responsible AI development. The South African Artificial Intelligence Association was set up to promote ethical practices within the AI ecosystem. However, South Africa faces challenges in adopting AI on a wider scale. A critical hurdle is the skills gap, with only 16% of the population having post-secondary education. This requires focused efforts on AI education and training programs. The country also battles with limited data infrastructure in rural areas, necessitating expanded mobile access to ensure a more inclusive AI adoption process.


Egypt prioritizes education and training as the cornerstone of its AI strategy. The Egyptian initiative goes hand-in-hand with educational programs designed to equip future generations with necessary AI skills. Recognizing the importance of a skilled workforce, the strategy emphasizes a smooth transition to an AI-powered workforce, aiming to retrain and redistribute skills to minimize job displacement. This approach is particularly relevant considering over 60% of Egypt’s population is under 30. Egypt’s initiatives aim to prepare future generations to thrive in the AI-driven economy.


Earlier this year, Tanzania announced it would join the African nations leveraging AI to transform governance. This initiative aims to bolster the country’s digital data pool and enhance e-government services, ultimately leading to greater efficiency, transparency, and reduction in corruption. According to the Minister of State, George Simbachawene, the Tanzanian government recognizes the challenges of traditional service delivery methods, citing delays and a “lackadaisical attitude” among some public servants. Integrating AI into e-government platforms offers a potential solution, streamlining processes, eliminating unnecessary queues, and expediting service delivery for citizens. At 31.6%, Tanzania’s internet penetration indicates significant room for growth and improvement.


Recently, Ghana announced its plans to become Africa’s first blockchain-powered government. This initiative, unveiled by Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia at a recent anti-corruption conference, aims to leverage blockchain technology’s core strengths—immutability, meaning data can’t be altered, and transparency, meaning all transactions are publicly recorded. These factors can significantly reduce the risk of manipulation and fraud within government processes. Beyond bolstering security, blockchain also holds promise for streamlining government operations. Streamlining workflows, automating tasks, and improving record-keeping could lead to faster processing times, reduced administrative burdens, and better service delivery for Ghanaian citizens. So far, Ghana is a leader in Africa for using digital tools in governance, with internet penetration at 48% and a GDP of $74 billion. Their government platform,, has successfully onboarded 99% of its government agencies. However, Ghana’s ambitious plans may have to jump some significant hurdles.

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