From Chinenye Anuforo

Interstellar Inc. (“Interstellar”), an enterprise blockchain infrastructure services company, and Interswitch Group (“Interswitch”), Africa’s leading integrated payments and digital trading solutions company, have entered into a long-term strategic partnership agreement to jointly develop a blockchain-based one Infrastructure announced services and solutions.

Interswitch and Interstellar have worked together for the past two years, doing research on blockchain technology. As part of the partnership, Interstellar’s blockchain technology stack (STARGATE) will be integrated with Interswitch’s industry-leading payments and digital commerce technology. This will further enhance the shared vision of the companies to foster greater financial inclusion and prosperity across the continent.

Both companies have prepared for the blockchain revolution in the African market with several ongoing initiatives, including a Pan-African Payment Ecosystem (PAPE) operated by a private blockchain network that includes a consortium of banks and fintech players .

Ernest Mbenkum, Founder and CEO of Interstellar, commented: “We are very excited about this strategic partnership with Interswitch, one of the most valuable fintech companies in Africa. This marks the beginning of an innovative and collaborative partnership that aims to deliver impact-oriented and enterprise-grade blockchain-based services across the African continent. “

Interswitch has been a leader in key payments innovation milestones in Nigeria for the past 20 years and has been recognized as one of the fastest growing tech companies in Africa (Deloitte Fast-Growth 50) and the first native African fintech Unicorn to be recognized after a minority investment by Visa in late 2019 Today, Interswitch’s current business presence spans more than 26 countries in Africa.

Akeem Lawal, Divisional Chief Executive Officer, Transaction Switching and Payment Processing at Interswitch, commented, “We are excited to partner with Interstellar on this journey and look forward to the amazing things we will achieve together in the African market. This new alliance underscores the pioneering evolution of our blockchain innovation strategy based on our strategic intent to develop a native, proprietary enterprise-class distributed ledger technology stack that is practically tailored to the African context. This enables us to gradually digitize several industrial value chains across African markets while at the same time supporting the updating of the pan-African payment ecosystem and taking advantage of the wave of opportunities created by initiatives such as the AfCFTA. “

The adoption of distributed ledger technology applications in Africa offers significant potential for fueling socio-economic growth, empowering communities, digitizing industries, reducing the cost of local and cross-border payments, localizing emerging technologies, and developing African tech talent .

Looking at recent trends, it has been shown that the African continent is increasingly embracing modern innovations in digital currency, with central banks and other payment service providers actively advocating some of these interventions. These offer numerous benefits and opportunities to deepen payment systems across the continent, and this timely partnership between Interswitch and Interstellar is another important milestone along the way.

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