The United Africa Blockchain Association (UABA), a South Africa-based not-for-profit organisation, has announced its plan to train a million people (mainly women and youth) from Africa on blockchain, distributed ledger technology (DLT) and cryptocurrencies.
UABA said the initiative is scheduled to start in September 2019 with a ‘Blockchain 101 for Train the Trainer Program’ and a ‘Women in Blockchain and AI class’ on the cards.
“We’ll be running blockchain training programs, facilitating and hosting hackathons and blockchain events”, said UABA’s research director, Heath Muchena. “Also, we intend on initiating start-up bootcamps for entities developing blockchain-based solutions with use cases focused on Africa’s emerging/developing economies. We enable partnerships and strategic alliances with home-grown businesses that have already tailored their offers to African consumers.”
With recent developments in Mauritius, Kenya and Seychelles, blockchain and other crypto-related discussions have increased in parts of Africa of late.
A report by Global Risk Insights says Africa’s large informal sector is one of the major factors that have influenced the development of its blockchain markets. This follows a 2018 Citibank report that puts Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa in the third, fifth and sixth place respectively for the highest amount of bitcoin holders per capita.
Muchena explains that UABA’s agenda is to align with an anticipated surge in blockchain and crypto-related activities across the continent going by current indicators – including Sub-Saharan Africa’s growth potential expected to average 12% annually through 2035.
Additionally private consumption in eight of Africa’s largest markets is expected to grow at 5% a year (in real terms) to US$1.25-trillion in 2025 at a time when almost half of Africans will be living in cities and mobile penetration level will have exceeded 90%.
The Group has noted the rising popularity of digital currency among Africans – Google Trends shows that global searches for the word ‘bitcoin’ are the highest in Nigeria, South Africa and Ghana.
Muchena adds: “We’ll be doing weekly sessions every Saturday in Johannesburg. We plan to set up for Cape Town soon and we are aiming to rotate periodically to different African countries, particularly Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Ghana where we have or are currently establishing program delivery partners. (The) roadmap will be influenced by how much support we can garner from sponsors etc.”