Will Facebook's Digital Currency Libra Be Good For Africa? feat. Michael Kimani & Simon Dingle

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In this in-studio taping of the African Tech Roundup podcast, Andile Masuku is joined by the Kenyan digital money analyst Michael Kimani and the South African crypto entrepreneur Simon Dingle to discuss how Libra and the proposed Calibra network stacks up against existing cryptocurrency concepts like Bitcoin, and to establish whether or not Facebook's digital currency might be good for Africa. It's safe to say that the world hasn't been quite the same since Facebook and its high-powered corporate collaborators - Visa, MasterCard, Uber, Spotify, South Africa's PayU and several others - revealed plans to re-imagine global finance using a digital coin called Libra— an idea that, according to the Libra whitepaper, is set to be backed by a reserve of actual currencies and assets. This show was taped prior to US President Donald Trump forcefully panning cryptocurrencies in a public statement earlier this week. His provocative sentiments came in the wake of lawmakers in the US and Europe demanding that The Libra Association's plans be placed on hold pending formal investigations. Meanwhile, in Africa, policymakers will also need to grapple with many of the concerns being raised about Libra abroad. In this episode, Andile, Simon and Michael delve into issues that African lawmakers would do well to apply their minds to. Listen in to hear the trio unpack why Libra is potentially an ingenious innovation that - if permitted by regulators - could do much to advance financial inclusion on the continent, but, equally, a potentially hazardous vehicle which could enable Facebook & Co. to wield unprecedented economic control over Africa's future. Image credit: Maksim Shutov

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