In an ambitious move that places it on the crest of the wave of digital innovation, the Central African Republic (CAR) announces an expansion of its pioneering Sango project, now reaching the prospect of tokenizing land and its natural resources. In an announcement on X (formerly known as Twitter), it was stated that the CAR National Assembly approved a law pertaining to this measure on July 24th.
Unveiling a potentially rich vein of fresh possibilities, the law brings with it the prospect of simplifying procedures, such as online applications for business visas and a streamlined process of establishing businesses for both citizens and foreigners. It marks a gateway to quicker licensing in sectors such as real estate, agriculture, natural resource exploitation, and forestry. This seemingly conducive move has already elicited its fair share of responses, given the unanimous approval by the National Assembly.
If we cast our memories back to the previous year, CAR had hinted at its intentions to tokenize its natural resources. This announcement soon followed the inauguration of the Sango project, whose myriad aims included the concept of a Crypto Island Metaverse, thereby portraying a clear intent to establish a foothold in the world of crypto adoption.
However, there were considerable hurdles to clear, especially considered that the CAR was the first nation in Africa, and second worldwide, to adopt Bitcoin as a national currency in April 2022. Interestingly, it was repealed shortly after in May. The country also launched the Sango, its native cryptocurrency, meant to overshadow the CFA (Financial Community of Africa) franc.
Despite the Constitutional Court’s disapproval of the Sango-linked citizenship program, it is still being advertised for a sum of $60,000 in Sango on the Sango Project’s website. A strong resistance to the CAR’s Bitcoin adoption came from the International Monetary Fund, which estimated the country’s GDP growth to be 2.2% for this year.
Despite the ambitious initiative by the government and the hopeful prospects, a shadow of skepticism hangs over the potential unregulated exploitation of natural resources, and the transparency and stability of a state-sponsored cryptocurrency. The implementation could bring about a wave of innovation and economic growth, or it could devolve into corruption and economic downturn if not managed properly – only time will tell the true potential of this paradigm shift.