- July 5, 2022
- Posted by: Amos Ekow Coffie
- Category: Economics
The Central African Republic, (CAR) officially launched on Sunday the construction of its own cryptocurrency, the Sango, and the future “first African crypto-hub” with “zero taxation”.
Two months after making his country the second in the world after El Salvador to adopt bitcoin as an official currency –alongside the CFA franc– and legalize the use of crypto-currencies, President Faustin Archange Touadéra made the announcement at an “online event” to launch “a new digital system powered by Blockchain technology.”
No concrete details were given on the modalities and timetable for the creation of this “Sango Coin” and a “Crypto Island”, a platform allowing this virtual currency to become “the catalyst for the tokenization of the vast natural resources” of the Central African Republic.
This “Sango initiative”, named after the official language alongside French, comes in the midst of the global cryptocurrency crisis, where the price of bitcoin is in free fall and many crypto platforms are facing bankruptcy.
Regretting that Africa, “where 57% of the population is unbanked,” suffers from a glaring lack of “infrastructure” making “financial services almost inaccessible to many inhabitants,” Touadéra asserted “to have found the solution”: “the smartphone,” to trade and invest in cryptocurrencies.
“The smartphone is the alternative to traditional banking, cash and financial bureaucracy,” said the president of the second least developed country in the World according to the UN, where only 14.3% of the more than 5 million inhabitants have access to electricity in 2022, and even less to the internet, of which 71% live below the international poverty line (less than 1.90 US dollars per day) and more than half need humanitarian assistance, according to the World Bank.
“The Central African Republic is sitting on a mountain of untapped wealth,” including gold, diamonds, rare metals, and “Sango Coin will be direct access to our resources for the world” to attract investors and “jump-start the engines of the economy,” enthused the head of state.
At the end of April, the adoption of bitcoin as a reference currency had caused perplexity and disapproval from an international community already blaming the power of Mr. Touadéra for having delivered his country to Russia and to the “mercenaries” of the sulphurous Wagner, accused of “looting” its resources in exchange for military support against the rebels.
The Central African Republic has been bloodied since 2013 by a very deadly civil war, which has however decreased in intensity since 2018.