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Report: Middle East and Africa’s Blockchain Spending to Surge 400% by 2023

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As global blockchain adoption is accelerating, countries in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) are forecasted to massively increase their spending on the tech in the next few years.

According to a new report by United States-based market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC), governments across MEA will see a 400% surge in their investment to blockchain-based solutions in four years.

Issued on Feb. 12, the IDC report outlines that blockchain tech is increasingly growing its share in digital transformation initiatives in the MEA region. Specifically, MEA countries are predicted to increase its blockchain spending from $21 million in 2019 to as much as $105 million by 2023, with a compound annual growth rate of nearly 50%.

According to the report, the authorities in the MEA region are actively developing blockchain-enabled solutions to reduce fraud, increase security and improve public administration.

Jyoti Lalchandani, vice president and regional managing director at the IDC's division for the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa, emphasized that governments in the MEA region are facing a challenge to learn a whole new set of technologies like blockchain. Lalchandani also noted that many governmental structures are not prepared for digital transformation:

"Governments across the region are under mounting pressure to become both more efficient and more effective. However, this is proving to be a troublesome task as many government organizations are simply not prepared for digital redesign. Whether it's finding ways to integrate 5G, AI, and blockchain or protect against intrusions on digital trust, government agencies have a whole new set of IT skills to learn.”

Despite blockchain being increasingly explored in MEA countries, blockchain spending still accounts for a small part of the total digital transformation initiatives. According to the IDC, MEA countries spent a combined $12.8 billion in 2019 on digital transformation as a whole, and is expected to cross the $15 billion mark by 2023.

The IDC has been continuously updating blockchain spending predictions as the sector develops. The research company had previously predicted that global blockchain spending would amount to nearly $3 billion in 2019, with a 89% surge from 2018. The IDC also forecasted that this figure would hit almost $16 billion in 2023.

While the MEA region is expected to see a significant surge in its blockchain spending, other regions like Asia/Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ) are projected to spend far more than $105 million in the coming years. According to another IDC prediction, the APEJ will be spending as much as $2.4 billion on blockchain by 2022.

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