Hackernoon logoBlockchain, Africa and everybody trying to “make a difference” in Africa by@davidolarinoye

Blockchain, Africa and everybody trying to “make a difference” in Africa

Today I am annoyed; very annoyed. And that is a good time to write. I won’t say why I am annoyed but you can read between the lines. This is going to be very blunt but I hope it is not offensive to anybody. This is not a popular opinion but the understanding can help your decision-making in matters pertaining to these things.

It is not a new notion neither is it a strange notion that Africa is branded with poverty on the world scene. I won’t be surprised if I asked readers of this post of what they think life is like in African towns. Yes, towns. There are cities but most are not really cities when compared to other places in the world. Not that there are no skyscrapers but the basic organizational structure that makes a city warrant the classification is absent. Okay, let me ask a question;

why do you think Africa is poor?
Your answer is very important especially if you are one of those doing some sort of program to “alleviate” poverty on the continent. Yes, Africa is a continent with 54 countries

Before you make any quick judgment and defend your opinion, let me ask a counter question;

why is the USA rich?

And if you are still thinking along those popular notions, let me add more questions;

Why is the UAE rich?
Why is China rich?
Why is Abu Dhabi rich?
Why is the UK rich?
Why is Germany rich?

And the list can go on and on. Answer the Africa question in context of the others. Can you? In these developed countries there are those still considered as poor, but the country is considered rich. If you live in any of these countries and you think poverty is a thing there, you should relocate to East Africa or West or the core North or even the South (excluding the fairly performing South Africa). These are poverty stricken places. Is it that people in these other countries are fundamentally better than those in Africa? The answer is no. In fact, you will find the number of educated people in some African communities mind blowing! So, why is Africa poor?

Maybe you are beginning to wonder why blockchain is included in the title. This is because a pivotal answer to Africa’s problem may just be in its infancy; the blockchain. The blockchain brings a value to light that is difficult to quantify. And that is trust; the number one problem of Africa. Generally, African communities are not transparent by nature. And you know what that means. Nobody trusts a system, people or community that is not transparent with resources (or money). And where there is no trust, big money doesn’t go. Where big money doesn’t go, there cannot be a radical development. Where there is no radical development, poverty is a must! But a system on the blockchain is by nature transparent and trustworthy. This is why blockchain may have just solved the poverty problem in Africa. But unless someone forces down the technology on governance in such places, things will not change.

This is about accountability through the blockchain

When I hear of people with money doing something in Africa or for Africa, I feel for the spenders and the “Africans”. I have spent more than 2 decades on the African continent so I know what I’m saying. Everyone doing a project through the government is 90% just throwing money into the ocean. For most of the countries, giving money to the government or government agency is a dead end. And if you think; well we monitor our projects and we have data for it! I have news for you, you may have empty data. Data based on nothing. I’ve met a couple of people that fabricate data for various organizations. I wouldn’t mention names, but it’s that bad.

Other organizations that seem to be doing something that they’re getting results at are focused on issues that are not connected to productivity. It may look connected, but believe me it is not. An example is healthcare initiatives. While it makes sense from a western world perspective, it doesn’t make sense on the African continent. The people those health initiatives help (majorly) are people that are not productive and often do not contribute to the economic growth of the country. Those they help eventually get crippled by another health challenge without being productive at all. People who are very productive (result-wise) are often people who can afford their own healthcare (or live healthily to avoid serious health issues). Organizations that want to make a difference often focus on people that will give them the most attention publicly; people who will be rolling on the ground in thanksgiving for a trivial thing. Nobody thinks about the one trying to be productive. Even African banks are mean to Africans. The big organizations see these facts but I wonder why their approach is the way it is. I even have a notion that they might want to keep Africa in poverty. This is because they stay out of the things that can cause real change and just stick to doing safe things that’ll earn them public praise. This is why I am long on blockchain because blockchain can change everything. In fact it will, it’s just a question of when.

Here is a question I asked my friends recently; in 2050, will governments allow a process that is not on the blockchain to run? Ask yourself that even as bitcoin descends at this time. Maybe, the upward transition for bitcoin will begin at Mark’s appearance before congress. Maybe a congressman should ask him if he has considered putting Facebook on the blockchain and if no, why?

P.S. If you are involved in a “making a difference” project in any country in Africa, you need to really look into what you’re doing and ask yourself some sincere questions


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