Web 3.0: Africa and The Future of Internet


According to a research report, Africa had the third-fastest growing cryptocurrency economy globally in 2021. This also led the world in share of overall crypto transaction volume coming from peer-to-peer.

Evolving from a niche pastime to an indispensable day-to-day life, the internet (Web 2.0) has become centralized with only sizable numbers of big technology companies like Apple, Google help, Amazon, government, dominating the market space.

For Africa, it’s a little different. The continent embraced mobile money in 2007 with M-Pesa and the willingness to adopt new technologies that benefit its growing population should not be taken for granted.

Web 3.0 is the third generation of the internet, a decentralized online ecosystem based on the blockchain.  The term was coined by a computer scientist named Gavin Wood in 2014. Wood co-founded Etheretechnology, the decentralized blockchain platform behind the cryptocurrency ether (ETH).

For Web 3.0, it is about looking at the internet in a more distributed and democratic way. It’s also a critical building block towards creating the metaverse, an immersive online world. Venture capitalists are investing billions of dollars into this future vision as others remain skeptical, calling Web 3.0 a marketing buzzword and a pyramid scheme.

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According to global research, Web 3.0 won’t necessarily overtake Web 2.0 before the end of the decade, it will enable new business and social models where users own their own data, identity, content and algorithms.

It will what makes Web 3.0 so valuable – it shifts digital power back into the hands of the user, rather than to a secondary platform, integrating both the physical and digital world.

Elon Musk and Jack Dorsey, the former CEO of Twitter, are known to be ‘against’ the concept, believing that “Web 3 isn’t real” and that he (Musk) couldn’t see a compelling use-case for the VR-driven metaverse.

According to a research report, Africa had the third-fastest growing cryptocurrency economy globally in 2021. This also led the world in share of overall crypto transaction volume coming from peer-to-peer.

Today, Nigeria becomes the second-largest bitcoin market, making it one of five countries with a government-introduced central bank digital currency.

Founder and manager partner of Akazi Capital, a blockchain-based impact fund that invests in female entrepreneurs in sub-Saharan Africa, Liebe Jeannot is optimistic about Web 3.0 saying it is still an early days and it is only the beginning of the cycle, therefore things are evolving as new entrants are coming into the space.

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“As soon as you can bring those concepts close to home and show them concepts that they can relate to, that’s when you’ll have more people entering the space with things becoming more user-friendly in terms of the way in which we interact with technology.”

Jeannot believes that Africa is ready to unlock Web 3.0. And that this new, future vision for the internet will become a reality in the same way that we use email. She said, “We don’t have to understand the technology behind it, what goes on behind the scenes in terms of code, but we understand the way we interact with it and how we apply it to our daily life.

“It’s going to be a similar thing with Web 3.0. NFTs, for example, play an interesting role because people relate to art – you collect it or you enjoy it but in order to buy NFTs, it doesn’t have to be complicated,” says Jeannot.

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However, the space is so diverse with many different projects that speak to different parts of who we are as people. There’s still a lot of room for African projects by Africans as more investors are coming into the space and there will be more of an appetite from people wanting to consume and be a part of Web.3.0.

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