The CEO of the Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC) and the managing director of UWIN Corp, Sandra Ro, has aired her opinion about Africa in relation to blockchain; stating that Africa might experience emigration of experts, enthusiasts, and entrepreneurs in the blockchain sector if they are not supported which consequently leads to a brain drain in the sector.
Enabling Environment for Blockchain in Africa
The CEO proffered solution to the looming brain drain stating that if the African government develops an enabling living environment in terms of regulations. According to Sandra Ro, the governments in Africa are best placed to accommodate blockchain technology because Africa does not have viable options that could out-perform the blockchain technology. Additionally, she stated that the African continent could be a significant beneficiary of the financial inclusion strategies embedded in the technology.
Founders of Unleashing the Wealth of Nations (UWIN) Corp, Sandra Ro and Jeremy Akinyemi, are currently holding closed-door and round-tables meetings with some government in Africa which is aimed at sharing information as to how the unique technology could be put into effective use most especially in the field of Agriculture such as; helping farmers register their goods, mobile the goods and ultimately selling them off to trustworthy platforms.
The Transform Africa Summit in Rwanda which was held from May 7 to May 9, 2018, had Sandra Ro as a participant, and she was quote stating;
“Africa has enormous potential with so much of its population ‘unbanked,’ and there are significant issues around land rights and registration all of which means millions of Africans are excluded from the global market economy. Blockchain, coupled with key technologies like mobile and cloud solutions, [offers] a promising way to address these issues and Africa stands to benefit significantly if it truly embraces it.”
Blockchain Could Penetrate Africa As Mobile Phones Did
Sandra Ro also stated that the same way mobile phones penetrated the African market, the blockchain technology can also do the same. According to her, the blockchain technology has more to offer the continent than mobile phones and that the blockchain technology has a higher potential to thrive in Africa than any other continent in the world due to obvious reasons.
On the other hand, the CEO of UWIN, Julius Akinyemi of Nigerian descent shared the same sentiments with Sandra Ro on the how fertile the economic landscape of Africa is which can germinate the seed of blockchain if sowed in it, He said;
“One of the encouraging things about Africa is that each time people talk about African infrastructure and opportunity, everyone agrees that it’s the next frontier. The assets are so undervalued. People talk about it from an investment point of view, but I take it more personally and think about human capital and human assets and the opportunities therein…”
Sandra Ro then concluded on her point on the possibilities of brain drain in Africa, saying that;
“… As Africa builds on its reputation as a hub of blockchain innovation, it also runs the risk of a tech ‘brain drain’, in much the same way as it has seen with its medical profession with many nurses and doctors working overseas. One way to help tackle this is for African governments to make the continent the most appealing for blockchain innovators.”
The issue of brain drain is not a plague, but its consequences are usually more than that of the latter. As it has been witnessed in several countries where the cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology has thrived that the government often have a role to play either by tax holidays, enabling suitable regulations or even tax exclusions just to make sure that the technology with underlying potentials thrives.
However, if African governments do nothing to encourage experts in this field, they would be left with no other options than to move thereby leaving Africa without hope in this sector.