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African Blockchain Companies Receive Global Awards and Recognition For Real Applications

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XendBit

The recently concluded Global Blockchain Congress in Johannesburg was attended by a number of upcoming blockchain and cryptocurrency companies that showcased a diverse mix of speakers, panelists, and engagements with exhibitors.

A unique participant was a Botswana-based blockchain hub Satoshi Centre, which presented its platform for fundraising for startups. A product of Satoshi Centre that was presented at the event is Plass, an application that enables individual farmers or co-operatives to manage their daily farming productions and stocks on the blockchain. The success of Satoshi Centre earned it the award of Excellence in Blockchain Incubation Facilities.

As expected some of the participants were startup companies that were primed for the new cryptocurrency-based venture funding known as Initial Coin Offering (ICO). In particular, the KuBitX cryptocurrency exchange and Subaj Global Network operating from Malta and Germany respectively were promoting their platforms for private sale investors. Also, the capabilities demonstrated by KuBitX and Subaj bagged the startups their respective awards of Most Promising Crypto Exchange and Excellence in Application of Blockchain in Consumer Rewards.

The atmosphere at the conference was further made exciting by investors and blockchain advisory firms such as the US-based Austin Texas native, Decentra Group, which focuses on advisory services for blockchain and ICO development with strong expertise in legal, marketing and funding for ICOs. The participants and organisers were also able to recognise the commitments of Decentra Group to the African continent with the award of Best ICO Services Debutant. Similarly, Cryptovecs capital and Liquid-Crypto Money, which are both based in Johannesburg also demonstrated specialisation for blockchain related investment and advisory services.

Although the conference took place in Johannesburg there was strong attendance from other regions including eastern African Blockchain Advisory firm, Azure Blockchain Consultants based out of Nairobi, Kenya. The array of investors and advisory companies confirms that the blockchain industry is gaining more interest for both adoption of applications and investments. Africa also boasts of its own favorite cryptocurrency, Monero, which is maintained by a group of developers led by a native of Johannesburg, Riccardo Spagni. Monero has remained among the top 10 to 20 global cryptocurrencies by market capitalisation.

XendBitFurthermore, at the event were other specialised providers such as the non-custodian XendBit Decentralized Exchange (DEX) and Financial Services platform. According to the founder and CEO, Bolaji Onibudo, “XendBit DEX was developed out of a growing need to de-risk cryptocurrency exchange services by eliminating the possibilities of hacks so as to ensure better security and control to users”. The XendBit platform whose services also include aid and credit disbursement through the blockchain will be fully available at the beginning of the Q4 of 2018 with its ICO launch. XendBit, which was awarded Excellence in Application of Blockchain in Financial Inclusion is also a member of the West African Blockchain Council (WABC). WABC comprises of blockchain organisations collaborating towards a blockchain ecosystem with other leading members such as Seso Global, a mortgage blockchain platform. The continent is also attracting other foreign blockchain practitioners like Australia’s Lavish Crypto, which received an award of Excellence in Application of Blockchain in Tourism.

On blockchain education, the continent is also exhibiting a number of active providers such as Blockchain Academy of South Africa, Cape Town-based Cryptotraders and Code Lagos sponsored by the Lagos State Government of Nigeria. Coincidentally, African governments are also making necessary investments in blockchain technology such as the South African Reserve Bank’s recent announcement of a successful trial of its blockchain-powered interbank clearance and settlement system.

In a similar vein, in an attempt to improve revenue assurance, the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) concluded a proof of concept in Blockchain Application for its Excise Trade Department. The NCS Excise Trade Blockchain was designed and co-developed by Blockchain Asset Management based out of Lagos, Nigeria in partnership with the Oracle Blockchain Service. This further suggests that the blockchain landscape in Africa is attracting big tech giants like Oracle, Microsoft, and IBM who are all now looking to offer solutions. This might also be attributed with Africa not having a strong legacy system in place, as is the case with the developed world, which potentially makes Africa more primed for blockchain adoption.

This article was contributed by Bolaji Onibudo, founder and CEO, of XendBit.

 

*Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the mentioned company, product or service. BitcoinAfrica.io is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any loss or damage caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, product or service mentioned in this guest post.*

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Blockchain Technology

BanQu is Leveraging the Blockchain to Give Refugees a Digital Identity

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BanQu

BanQu, a software company focused on eradicating global poverty, is leveraging blockchain technology to provide refugees with a digital identity so that they can continue to take part in society.

Linking Refugees to the Global Economy Using Blockchain Technology

Refugees and displaced persons can continue to live their lives independently thanks to the BanQu blockchain-based solution, which allows them to store their information on a distributed ledger. That means that with their information digitally stored and accessible from anywhere, they can look for jobs, apply for loans, and run their own businesses, thereby, contributing to the host country’s economy.

Hamse Warfa got the idea for this solution after experiencing the refugee life in the Daadab Refugee Camp in Kenya. After escaping Somalia with his parents during the civil war at the age of twelve, Warfa knows how it feels like to have one’s life turned upside down so suddenly, Fair Planet reported.  His parents, once thriving business people, were now dependent on charity.

“I want all refugees to be able to build transaction-based economic identities that allow them to thrive, including getting loans, and accessing credit for things like businesses and eventually homes. BanQu is for the world’s poor, refugees, and stateless people so they can live their lives like the rest of us,” Warfa stated in an interview.

How it Works

BanquTo use the BanQu blockchain solution, a user creates a digital profile via a mobile phone where they enter their information. A third party, who must also be verified, verifies this information, which is then stored on the blockchain. A user can access his or her information at any time.

Users can also store their financial transactions, health records, education records, and credit histories on the BanQu app, thereby, enabling them to participate in the global economy.

Furthermore, the BanQu blockchain solution also benefits organisations and governments that interact with refugees. For instance, the BanQu platform allows governments to track aid resources that have been disbursed to the target population.

More than 25,000 people across four continents are using the BanQu solution and the company is striving to reach more than 100 million underprivileged people by 2028.

Dr Riby Okoth, a lecturer at the School of Security, Diplomacy, and Peace Studies at Kenyatta University in Kenya, said: “Having the refugees, for example, use their digital footprint to access financial services or job opportunities as the rest of the population not only reduces the culture of dependency but also opens up the global economy to more participants who are growing it rather than depending on it.”

According to the UNHCR, there are about 68.5 million people displaced from their homes and among them about 25.4 million refugees and approximately ten million stateless people.

With BanQu’s blockchain solution, these people could have the chance to live normal lives where they can access education, healthcare, loans, and employment.

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Blockchain Technology

Vodafone Ghana Introduces Blockchain Programme for Technology Students

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Vodafone Ghana

Vodafone Ghana in collaboration with IBM, HackLab Foundation, and Stanbic Bank has introduced a blockchain technology programme for technology students at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). The aim of the programme is to promote digital innovation in Ghana.

The Hacklab Foundation Hackathon

The blockchain programme took place at Hacklab Foundation’s hackathon held on April 19, 2019, at KNUST. The programme was based on the theme: “Can blockchain technology transform the services sector?”

Hacklab Foundation is a non-profit organisation based in Ghana that instills skills in the youth in preparation for the job market while connecting them to potential employers.

Vodafone GhanaAs GhanaWeb reported, the hackathon attracted 600 developers from more than 18 institutions across Ghana with the purpose of finding blockchain-based solutions for the country’s market and for the entire continent. Vodafone Ghana will help the developers that had the best solutions from the hackathon to execute their ideas.

“Our status as a leading telecom company in Ghana means we have the power to drive change in our society and this is one of the many avenues we are deploying to accelerate Ghana’s digital journey,” said Vodafone Ghana’s Enterprise Business Director Angela Mensah-Poku.

According to a statement from Vodafone Ghana, the blockchain technology programme will revolutionise how student developers think.

“Blockchain technology is a very fascinating concept which has captured the attention of the world and this hackathon is a demonstration of our commitment to lead a digital revolution in Ghana. We are always excited about the opportunity to unearth young talents in the digital technology sector,” Angela added.

Promoting the Digital Revolution in Ghana

Vodafone Ghana has been promoting the digital revolution in Ghana for more than three years, the telco company said in the statement. This has been done through the implementation of a digital strategy that is all-inclusive. Vodafone implements its strategy through annual hackathons, national digital coding, and the youth skills and jobs portal.

Vodafone Ghana was recognised as a digital leader at the Ghana Business Awards in 2018.

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Blockchain Technology

Mauritius-based Horizon Africa Launches Blockchain Education Platform for Africans

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Horizon Africa

Mauritius-based technology firm Horizon Africa has launched a new platform aimed at educating Africans about blockchain technology and encouraging startups, corporations and public sector institutions to utilise it.

An Ethereum-based Network for Africa

Horizon AfricaHorizon Africa is an Ethereum-based blockchain platform that offers blockchain solutions and facilitates DApp development. The Horizon Africa Blockchain Network (HABN) aims to apply blockchain to a number of industries including fintech, digital healthcare, education, governance and more.

According to the company’s co-founder, Suyash Sumaroo,

“Even though the public Ethereum (blockchain) has been available for years, the blockchain landscape in African countries has not developed much. There is a gap which is being filled by Horizon Africa. Its focus is not about creating a network or increasing the value of its token, but instead to allow people to learn about using the network. Building prototypes and ultimately real solutions is a large part of the mission,” he stated in an ITWeb Africa interview.

To make this dream a reality, Horizon Africa aims to involve African developers in the creation of blockchain solutions. The HABN network will provide a ‘test bed’ for local developers to design and deploy DApps that solve specific challenges in areas such as identity management, land registry, supply chains, gaming, and agriculture.

Sumaroo believes the uptake of blockchain-based products in Africa will increase within five years. He argues that Horizon Africa’s platform will play an important role in enabling African companies, startups and governments to learn about the technology, develop an implement blockchain systems.

Investing in Jobs of the Future

The platform launch comes after comments shared by the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina, at the 2019 Mo Ibrahim Governance Week, where he urged African governments to move away from “investing in the jobs of the past, but rather in the jobs of the future.”

He stated that Africa should position itself to maximise on the opportunities brought by digital technologies such as blockchain, AI, big data analytics, and 3D printing. Sumaroo mirrors the same belief and reiterates that blockchain technology will play a critical role in industries such as finance, agriculture and the public sector in the future of Africa.

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