Note: This is a slightly abridged version of what was originally published on my YouTube channel
As you probably know, Charles Hoskinson and IOHK have been doing a tour of the African continent, discussing potential blockchain based solutions with a number of world leaders.
The most recent tweet from Charles said “We signed an MOU today”. For those that aren’t familiar with the term, Investopedia defined an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) as:
“…an agreement between two or more parties outlined in a formal document. It is not legally binding but signals the willingness of the parties to move forward with a contract. The MOU can be seen as the starting point for negotiations as it defines the scope and purpose of the talks. Such memoranda are most often seen in international treaty negotiations but also may be used in high-stakes business dealings such as merger talks.” (Investopedia)
This is great news as it shows there is real momentum behind Cardano’s push to use blockchain technology to improve infrastructure in African countries.
But why Africa?
Africa is a continent that is rapidly growing as can be seen by this chart. As stated in the headline, “A surplus of workers, more stability and technology are transforming Africa’s economies”
Another article takes a longer term view and highlights the enormous long-term trajectory of the continent:
“By 2050, assuming a conservative trajectory similar to what India achieved since 1990, Africa will produce more GDP than the United States and eurozone combined do today, and its basic social, demographic and political realities will also be transformed. A continent rich in natural resources – mineral, agricultural and in energy – Africa is also rich in the youth of its population, enjoying a demographic advantage over all other regions of the world.
IOHK recently published a blog post (which is well worth a read) in which they quote Charles Hoskinson from his recent Cape Town Innovation & Technology initiative fireside chat (also worth a watch):
“In demographic terms, Africa is the youngest continent. In Ethiopia 70% of the population’s at or under the age of 30. If you give them internet and a great education, then suddenly you’ll have an incredibly entrepreneurial group because they don’t tolerate the status quo. You say, well, how will we create jobs for all these people? Well, they’ll create them for themselves. “
The countries on IOHKs tour are South Africa, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Burundi, Kenya and Egypt. We know that an MOU was signed with the government of Burundi but we don’t know the details yet, and we know that IOHK already have a project going on wth the education ministry in Ethiopia.
Would be interesting to see what else comes out of this tour but what I like about IOHK and Cardano is the focus on changing the world through blockchain technology, and going beyond DeFi and NFTs, which cater to the niche of people already in Crypto, and intstead finding real world use cases for cryptocurrency.