Barclays Africa Group Ltd has launched a Supply Chain Challenge, the first of several initiatives being driven into Africa with the aims of sparking ideas to drive the digital evolution on the continent.
The announcement follows hot on the heels of the global launch of the Barclays Rise Innovation programme, which is a global community for open innovation, designed to pioneer the future of financial services.
Traditional providers of financial services are being disrupted by new technologies, agile companies and innovative product. Barclays is responding by partnering and collaborating with the innovators and entrepreneurs who drive disruption.
It is with this ideology in mind that Barclays Africa is will be plugging start-ups, corporates and innovators into a physical and digital global network with the aims of co-innovating the ‘next big thing’ in financial services.
Stephen van Coller, Chief Executive of Corporate and Investment Banking at Barclays Africa, who announced the challenge today in Nairobi and says the Barclays Africa Supply Chain Challenge is about supply chain transparency.
“The supply chain, the journey of a product from manufacturer to consumer is often disjointed and inefficient and there is currently a huge amount of interest in finding ways to increase the transparency of provenance, not least of which is the use of Blockchain technology.”
“Blockchain and similar technologies have substantial potential in creating transparency about the series of transactions that occur along any supply chain process,” he says.
Transparency has become increasingly important for supply chains as consumers want to know where the goods they are purchasing actually come from.
Food and diamonds are some of the items that require all supply chain participants to ensure traceability of goods.
“One example of innovation that addresses the latter come out of our London-based innovation hub,” says van Coller.