Pan-Africanism Plus Bitcoin Equals New Global Super-Power (#GotBitcoin?)
Overcoming Racism, Tribalism, and Financial Struggles through Blockchain. Pan-Africanism Plus Bitcoin Equals New Global Super-Power
Blacks And Blockchain Technology
The discussions being held at Howard University, via the Black Blockchain Summit, are worth taking time to watch. Below, is a feed from facebook, that you’ll want to set aside time for. Please understand, as black people in America, this may be one way to overcome all that is constantly thrown at black people. Whether you fully understand this technology or not, it is going to be integral to the future of economics. This panel features a diverse discussion on using bitcoin, and blockchain for empowerment.
Start Education on this topic, as soon as possible.
When I look into most blockchain events, the attendance is mostly white. Once again, black people are being ‘left out’ of these conversations. What’s Beautiful to see here, is that black people are having their own events. This is sort of the freedom that this technology presents. NO one owns it, and so anyone can start holding meetings and discussing this technology together. So that means you can start educating yourself, and your community now.
This morning I had a conversation about how I dont like French. Now the ambassador of the AU to the US H.E. Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao reiterated that France is the instigator of the majority of the fuckery- past present and future #bigfacts #blackblockchainsummit pic.twitter.com/brJGjSZN9T
— Tavonia Evans (@cryptodeeva) September 10, 2018
Interesting talk by Robert from @UpholdInc with @SkinnerLiber8 . They want to be the bridge between Utility tokens and Fiat.
“There needs to be an ease of use for consumers”#blackblockchainsummit #SatoshiIsBlackpic.twitter.com/2M5gYTS8k6
— Jomari Peterson (@Jomari_P) September 10, 2018
@maxkeiser is live at the #BlackBlockchainSummit talking about #SatoshiIsBlack : Economic Liberation! Join the live stream here now! https://t.co/0wHWMDaJsV#iloveBlackPeoplepic.twitter.com/5zhhnMYS4C
— BitMari (@bitmari_) September 10, 2018
Senator Ian Conyers made an appearance. He said, ‘we can all have our own opinions, but we cannot have our own facts’.
— Ian Conyers (@ianconyers) September 10, 2018
It’s great to see people of this ‘level’ involved in these conversations too, as ‘regulations’ came up. This new way of using currency is supposed to free us from government regulations, and control. We all have to remain watchful, as this develops.
The #BlackBlockchainSummit takes off! @bitcoinlady from @SatoshicentreBw talking about building a Blockchain ecosystem with integrity and without scams! how #DecoloniseYourLife#SatoshiIsBlack #Iloveblackpeople pic.twitter.com/TCd8YZVX29
— BitMari (@bitmari_) September 10, 2018
Reach out to Peer Groups, and find other black people who are talking about blockchain technology
Just as I talked about most of the ‘blockchain meet ups’ are mostly white, so are most online discussions. Reddit, a site notorious for it’s alt-right membership, is full of non-blacks, talking blockchain technology.
If you’re ‘too pro-black’, they won’t reward you with the same kind of attention, love or support that they do for ‘their peers’ ….
So keeping this in mind, groups like Koinda (formerly Wacoinda), which help foster an educational environment about blockchain technology, with a focus on helping black people benefit, are right on time.
A few other groups are mentioned in the panel we shared above – the options are there, for those who are looking!
The Origins, Purpose, and Proliferation of Pan-Africanism
How Pan-Africanism Has Developed As A Modern Socio-Political Movement
Pan-Africanism was initially an anti-slavery and anti-colonial movement amongst black people of Africa and the diaspora in the late 19th century. Its aims have evolved through the ensuing decades.
Pan-Africanism has covered calls for African unity (both as a continent and as a people), nationalism, independence, political and economic cooperation, and historical and cultural awareness (especially for Afrocentric versus Eurocentric interpretations).
History of Pan-Africanism
Some claim that Pan-Africanism goes back to the writings of ex-slaves such as Olaudah Equiano and Ottobah Cugoano. Pan-Africanism here related to the ending of the slave trade, and the need to rebut the ‘scientific’ claims of African inferiority.
For Pan-Africanists, such as Edward Wilmot Blyden, part of the call for African unity was to return the diaspora to Africa, whereas others, such as Frederick Douglass, called for rights in their adopted countries.
Blyden and James Africanus Beale Horton, working in Africa, are seen as the true fathers of Pan-Africanism, writing about the potential for African nationalism and self-government amidst growing European colonialism. They, in turn, inspired a new generation of Pan-Africanists at the turn of the twentieth century, including JE Casely Hayford, and Martin Robinson Delany (who coined the phrase ‘Africa for Africans’ later picked up by Marcus Garvey).
African Association and Pan-African Congresses
Pan-Africanism gained legitimacy with the founding of the African Association in London in 1897, and the first Pan-African conference held, again in London, in 1900. Henry Sylvester Williams, the power behind the African Association, and his colleagues were interested in uniting the whole of the African diaspora and gaining political rights for those of African descent.
Others were more concerned with the struggle against colonialism and Imperial rule in Africa and the Caribbean. Dusé Mohamed Ali, for example, believed that change could only come through economic development. Marcus Garvey combined the two paths, calling for political and economic gains as well as a return to Africa, either physically or through a return to an Africanized ideology.
Between the World Wars, Pan-Africanism was influenced by communism and trade unionism, especially through the writings of George Padmore, Isaac Wallace-Johnson, Frantz Fanon, Aimé Césaire, Paul Robeson, CLR James, WEB Du Bois, and Walter Rodney.
Significantly, Pan-Africanism had expanded out beyond the continent into Europe, the Caribbean, and Americas. WEB Du Bois organized a series of Pan-African Congresses in London, Paris, and New York in the first half of the twentieth century. International awareness of Africa was also heightened by the Italian invasion of Abyssinia (Ethiopia) in 1935.
Also between the two World Wars, Africa’s two main colonial powers, France and Britain, attracted a younger group of Pan-Africanists: Aimé Césaire, Léopold Sédar Senghor, Cheikh Anta Diop, and Ladipo Solanke. As student activists, they gave rise to Africanist philosophies such as Négritude.
International Pan-Africanism had probably reached its zenith by the end of World War II when WEB Du Bois held the fifth Pan-African Congress in Manchester in 1945.
After World War II, Pan-Africanist interests once more returned to the African continent, with a particular focus on African unity and liberation. A number of leading Pan-Africanists, particularly George Padmore and WEB Du Bois, emphasized their commitment to Africa by emigrating (in both cases to Ghana) and becoming African citizens. Across the continent, a new group of Pan-Africanists arose amongst the nationalists—Kwame Nkrumah, Sékou Ahmed Touré, Ahmed Ben Bella, Julius Nyerere, Jomo Kenyatta, Amilcar Cabral, and Patrice Lumumba.
In 1963, the Organization African Unity was formed to advance cooperation and solidarity between newly independent African countries and fight against colonialism. In an attempt to revamp the organization, and move away from it being seen as an alliance of African dictators, it was re-imagined in July 2002 as the African Union.
Pan-Africanism today is seen much more as a cultural and social philosophy than the politically driven movement of the past. People, such as Molefi Kete Asante, hold to the importance of ancient Egyptian and Nubian cultures being part of a (black) African heritage and seek a re-evaluation of Africa’s place, and the diaspora, in the world.
- A History of Modern Africa by Richard J Reid, Wiley-Blackwell, 2009.
- Pan-African History: Political figures from Africa and the Diaspora since 1787 by Hakim Adi and Marika Sherwood, Routledge, 2003.
- The Routledge Companion to Decolonization by Dietmar Rothermund, Routledge, 2006.
- General History of Africa: VIII Africa Since 1935 edited by Ali A Mazrui, James Currey, 1999.
Tech Talent Born In Africa Will Play A Transformational Role In Global IT
Here’s a brief refresher on Africa’s tech talent potential. Over one billion people live on the continent. It is also the world’s “youngest” continent with more 16 to 24 year olds than anywhere else on earth. By 2035, Africa’s projected workforce growth of 910 million 16 to 64-year-olds will be more than that of China, India, Europe and the United States combined!
By 2025 I guarantee every chief information officer reading this blog will employ staff in Africa in some capacity.
The biggest human increase in modern history is under way in Africa. On every other continent, growth rates are slowing toward a standstill for the first time in centuries, and the day is in sight when the world’s human population levels out.
But not here—not yet.
Some 2.5 billion people will be African by 2050, the U.N. projects. That would be double the current number and 25% of the world’s total. There will be 399 million Nigerians then, more than Americans. When the century closes, if projections hold, four out of 10 people will be African.
Africa Shifts From Being The World’s Poorest Continent To Being The Powerhouse of Global Trade
LOKOJA, Nigeria—This was a small town on the docks where steamships stopped when a traveling young nut merchant named Ahmed Musa settled here in the 1940s. He didn’t even lock his doors at night.
Now Lokoja is the fastest-growing city on Earth. His roof looks out over shanties and suburban estates tangling along the Niger River stretch where, a century ago, a British writer gazed across the water and coined the name Nigeria. Lokoja’s metropolitan population of 473,000 is set to rise 78% in the next 10 years, the United Nations projects, quicker than every other sizable town in the world.
Billions of them will be living in cities that are today small towns. The land of open spaces that was Africa will have blended into one big megalopolitan web.
Whether that makes Africa the next emerging giant, or giant emergency, one thing is certain: At 93, Mr. Musa has something to do with all this. In his seven decades as the reigning nut trader in town, he has had 21 children by five wives, and 118 grandchildren. They call him Baka Son Matsi: roughly translated, Mr. Cool.
It’s because he is so relaxed, he said, perched in the armchair where he watches CNN.
“This makes me happy,” said the old man, surrounded by dozens of children and grandchildren. “It makes me proud.”
One of the great questions of the 21st century is unfolding outside his window: How will the world look with vastly more Africans in it?
Better, by some measures. Humanity is aging. By 2050, nearly a fourth of the people on earth will have passed their 60th birthday, compared with just one-eighth now. A swelling portion of the global economy will be spent hospitalizing or retiring old people.
By comparison, the average African will be 28. Some 1.3 billion people here will be both young and old enough to start a business, educate themselves, build new homes, embark on a career—and give the world’s farms and factories a reason to grow.
Simply Put: A baby boom will lift the poorest continent on Earth into the center of global affairs. Africa will soon become the world’s most reliable source of new life: of college graduates, young workers and budding consumers.
The big question looming over all of this: Will Africa figure out a way to tap this fountain of youth? Will the world?
So far, the prospects seem mixed at best. The developed world faces a coming shortage of workers—but a disinterest in taking more immigrants, especially Africans. Europe would be a natural destination for young Africans, most of whom speak a European language. But the continent is currently dialing back its intake of Africans to clear room for Middle Eastern refugees and to reassure voters worried about terrorists.
Africa isn’t finding much use for its young, either. In Nigeria, just 9% of adults are employed full time by someone else, according to a 2012 Gallup poll. It is a number typical for the continent.
There is no clarity on where the next batch of jobs will come from. Africans have watched car dealerships and shopping malls land in their biggest cities after a decade of economic growth. But that is slowing, and what hasn’t followed are factory jobs or modern farm work. If Africa is to follow East Asia’s example and become a manufacturing base for the global economy, evidence is thin.
In the meantime, this continent is losing one of the great races of the century. Africa’s population has been growing faster than governments can lay down the basics of a modern economy: power plants, roads and schools.
In Nigeria, electricity cuts out daily. The public schools are packed, their textbooks few, and teachers regularly strike. So many private schools have popped up in Lokoja that locals call them “mushroom schools.” The local education board complains it can’t count them all, because many are just a tin roof with a teacher underneath.
Banks barely lend. Nigeria has just 20,000 mortgages open for a country of 182 million. Ports are congested and mainly ship out oil—and there isn’t enough of that to support a population that grows by 13,000 people daily.
Hundreds of day laborers sit on a single strip in downtown Lokoja and periodically fistfight over gigs. “We are too many here,” said Sani Mohammad, a 33-year-old watching cars drive past. Another day laborer, Jamidu Mohammad, leaned on his shovel and agreed. “But if there’s no work, what can we do?” he said.
This is just one of the 43 African cities that will cross the one million-person mark in the next 15 years, the U.N. says. It is a tremendous bend in the world’s urban gravity.
A century ago, Africa had only one city of one million people: Cairo. Now there are 50 such towns, many housing more residents than most European nations. Lagos, Nigeria, is home to 21 million people. Just 762,000 lived there when Nigeria won its independence in 1960.
It is here in the cities where the next and paradoxical second chapter in Africa’s demographic story is unfolding. The larger Africa’s cities grow, the more families inside them shrink.
Africans in town are having fewer children these days than their village compatriots. Many have broken away from extended families, into nuclear abodes. A new African suburbia is branching out, as young parents try to buy distance from their elders and siblings.
That suburbia looks like Lokoja: “In the past there were areas where you hardly see five or 10 houses,” said Titus Ojo, head of Lokoja’s population commission. “You see thousands of buildings there now.”
This shift is what economists call the demographic dividend. It is the moment when big families become small. Parents find themselves with fewer mouths to feed, and more money on hand at the end of the month.
Invariably, many spend it educating their children, creating a workforce that will earn higher wages—and one day pay for their retirement. It is a phenomenon that has already helped push Latin America and East Asia up from poverty.
The next candidate for that economic miracle is Africa. And yet the continent is still a ways off.
In every African country, women are averaging fewer children now than their mothers had in 1990. But not by much: In Nigeria, it has taken 25 years for the birthrate to fall from 6.8 children per woman to six. Meanwhile, millions of mothers are giving birth in a delivery room for the first time in their family’s history. So their children are surviving more often, and growing up to have more children.
Birth control has been slow to catch on. Women in Nigeria who choose it are typically waiting until their 30s. Mariam Audu, a walk-in to Lokoja’s state family planning clinic, waited until she was 34, when she finally convinced her husband.
A few weeks after he agreed, he announced he was marrying a second wife—a teenager—so he could keep bringing children into the world.
“It’s our culture,” said the mother of five. “I didn’t want it, but as God brings it, I accept it.”
Family planning remains a delicate subject in this conservative country, which is almost equally divided between Muslims and Christians. Women need permission slips from their husbands to take birth control in the city of Kano, whose metropolitan population nears 10 million. All of the files from all the women who went on birth control last year in the largest hospital in the state don’t fill a single filing cabinet drawer.
Still, the idea is spreading, slowly, privately. In Lokoja, nurses at the state hospital have helped women hatch elaborate plans to covertly begin contraceptives. On a recent day, a new mother purposefully left her purse in the office—then ran back, without her husband, for a quick and surreptitious birth-control shot.
“Some people are with seven children, and their husband still wants more, but the strength of the woman, they can’t take it,” said Esther Akubo, the head nurse here. “So they come in secretly.”
If there’s a preview into how the world will be remade by Africa’s baby boom, it is to be had in Lokoja.
Much of the economy here revolves around petty trade—outdoor markets, or salesman stepping through traffic. What’s for sale is largely for children. Youngsters’ clothing and cribs line the streets. A galaxy of small shops sell satellite-TV packages.
Nickelodeon is the most popular channel: “They will tell you, if it doesn’t have Nickelodeon, they won’t buy it,” said Samuel Akpah, who sells satellite-TV packages in a roadside shop. In the back, he also runs a family portrait studio.
Once, this was a fisherman’s camp at the confluence of Nigeria’s two largest rivers, and a small dock for slave galleys. Then the British sailed here in 1841, aboard four howitzer-strapped steam vessels. They bought the land for £45.
For the next few decades, steam ships carried gunpowder, liquor, mirrors and Victorian-era clothes into port. Briefly, Lokoja was the capital of northern Nigeria. The British and French both opened their own grocery stores.
But it remained a community of a few thousand.
Then Mr. Musa turned up, in 1947, riding the top of a truck packed with cola nuts. The villager made his money stockpiling harvests by the dock: “Business was good,” he said. “Things were really cheap.”
With the money, he bought a blue suit, a white suit, a black suit, then a gray suit. He paid just seven shillings to rent his first flat.
And then he started building his family.
Over the next four decades, he married four women—and when his first wife died in 1987, he married a fifth. A few years later, in his early 70s, he had his 21st and final child.
By then, his progeny were growing up in a changed city.
Ships no longer come to the dock here—the river has filled up with muck. The airstrip has fallen into disuse, and the supermarkets closed. Most of the factories in town have been shuttered, including a government steel mill, and the goods for sale arrive from China.
Infrastructure has worn thin. Trash gathers in open gutters and streets flood so bad that neighbors here have called the BBC to report hippos swimming in their living room.
There is only one public playground: Teenage vandals smashed it up years ago. Police smoke marijuana there.
“Redemption from decay,” reads a nearby billboard for a local politician.
And yet the social life of this small city on the river bank—baptisms, weddings, and graduation parties—continues apace. In September, Mr. Musa partied at the christening of his 16th great-granddaughter, Miriam.
Sitting in his living room, the old man had a word with Yuman Abbas, her father, his grandson.
It was time to break with family tradition, he said: To have fewer children, marry fewer wives, and move out from the crowded center of Lokoja.
“It isn’t easy to have this kind of family,” said the nonagenarian, jabbing a finger at his grandson. Cackling in Nigerian pidgin English, he teased: “If he get plenty children, plenty problems go come!”
Crypto in Africa: Opportunities And Challenges, Explained
1. Is crypto In Africa popular?
Increasingly so, and you could argue that parts of the continent are world-leading.
Back in April, Google Trends data revealed that Lagos in Nigeria has the world’s highest volume of online searches for Bitcoin (BTC). A lot of this is driven by frustration toward existing payment solutions, with the likes of PayPal actually barring Nigerians from receiving international money transfers because of the country’s reputation for fraud. Millions of innocent consumers are suffering as a result because they have no choice but to use alternatives which charge high fees. Some tout cryptocurrencies as a perfect solution, which enable enterprising Africans to receive payments as they form business connections around the world.
Surveys have also revealed that Africa, a hub for m-commerce, is a hotspot when it comes to owning crypto. About 5.5% of adult internet users worldwide own some form of digital currency, but three African nations lie above this average. According to Hootsuite’s 2019 Global Digital Yearbook, 10.7% of South Africans possess crypto — the highest of any country surveyed. Nigeria also makes the list at 7.8%, with Ghana at 7.3%.
2. Why Is Africa So Keen On Cryptocurrencies?
The reasons behind its popularity are multi-faceted and fascinating.
Cross-border payments are a contributing factor, especially given how remittances are often sent from countries like South Africa to 15 other countries on the continent in what is known as the Southern African Development Community.
Unpredictability in local fiat currencies is another issue. This year, the South African rand returned to form as the world’s most volatile currency, prompting consumers to seek protection for their money.
Africans living in other countries on the continent have also been losing faith in their central banks. Just look at Zimbabwe, where levels of hyperinflation have been rife. Bitcoin has become so popular there that demand is dramatically outstripping supply, meaning BTC sometimes trades at a sizeable premium to prices in the rest of the world. Back in June, the country reinstated the Zimbabwean dollar after a 13-year absence, and simultaneously banned United States dollars, British pounds and other foreign currencies. Wary of shortages and instability that have blighted the economy in the past, Zimbabwe has become one of the continent’s biggest crypto markets because some consumers believe the likes of Bitcoin and Ether (ETH) are more trustworthy.
3. What Could Crypto, As Well As Blockchain, Solve?
Advocates say there are many issues beyond currency volatility where crypto and blockchain could make a difference.
Aside from remittances and currency volatility, financial inclusion is another hot-button topic in Africa. Research from the World Bank suggests that many of the world’s 1.7 billion unbanked are on the continent, while 2 in 3 adults in sub-Saharan Africa do not have access to a bank account.
In some ways, Africa is better prepared for a move to crypto than other continents. Mobile money has already been a key driver in reducing the numbers of unbanked adults, and the World Bank says the continent is home to all eight countries where more than 1 in 5 adults solely rely on a mobile-only account. Given how many consumers are already open to using this technology, crypto exchanges and wallets that offer fully functional apps for mobile users are set to benefit immensely.
Blockchain is also showing plenty of promise. As a recent Cointelegraph article explained, stakeholders in the region say distributed ledger technology will be instrumental in solving long-standing developmental issues and unlocking much-needed economic growth. Nigerian politicians believe that blockchain will drive the world’s fourth industrial revolution, and, for the first time, Africa has the opportunity to have a seat at the table. Fintech companies across the continent are growing substantially. Hotspots include Cape Town, where the number of startups being established has risen 23%, and Nairobi, where there has been a 28% rise.
There is also hope that blockchain technology can help bring around dramatic improvement to the infrastructure in Africa. In Nigeria, companies are working together to see whether blockchain can be implemented in a push to make the nation’s roads safer. The West African nation of Sierra Leone has been working on the development of a blockchain-based ID system for its citizens amid hopes it could enable financial institutions to verify identities and build credit histories in a way that wasn’t possible before. Uganda has also teamed up with a blockchain startup to clamp down on the supply of counterfeit drugs nationwide, with reports suggesting that up to 10% of prescriptions result in fake medicine.
4. How Are Things Looking In Terms Of Regulation?
Many African countries aren’t happy about crypto’s arrival.
A handful of African countries have banned crypto altogether, including Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Zambia and Namibia. Others have created substantial amounts of uncertainty by failing to offer a clear stance, leaving consumers in a gray area.
South Africa has been somewhat of a bright spot on the continent, where regulators have expressed enthusiasm about crypto’s potential. Official bodies have actually been working in concert with crypto companies and financial institutions to find the best way forward.
This year, work has been underway to develop an intergovernmental cryptocurrency regulatory framework, but the report is yet to be released. Many crypto advocates continue to be buoyed by an upbeat position paper released by the South African Reserve Bank all the way back in 2014, in which it said: “Increasing merchant acceptance, integrating existing conventional payment instruments with decentralized convertible virtual currency, and promoting the advantages inherent in such systems. Thus, there is potential for real growth of Bitcoin in its current operational environment.”
5. What Other Hurdles Lie Ahead?
Aside from the regulatory headaches, crypto businesses may find it hard to gain traction on the continent.
Why will adoption be a challenge? Mainly because of the fact that it could be hard to get the word out about crypto’s potential, and some consumers may be put off for fear that it’s simply too technical to use on a daily basis. It’s also fair to say that BTC might not be the best currency to use for daily purchases for Africans who are moving away from their local fiat because it’s too volatile.
There is also a real risk that reliable access to the internet across the entire continent might be overestimated, especially considering that connectivity lags far behind other parts of the world. Plus, compelling crypto and blockchain projects that are tailored to the African market will depend on developers and entrepreneurs who can deliver it, which means training new talent and enticing expertise from around the world will be crucial in enhancing levels of mainstream adoption.
6. How Can I Find Information On What’s Next For Africa?
Specialist publications, such as Cointelegraph, can help, as well as conferences focused on digital currencies and blockchain.
The Crypto Finance Conference is one such event, which is taking place in St. Moritz, Switzerland, from Jan. 15 to 17, 2020. Organizers say that speakers are going to offer compelling insights into what lies ahead, as well as offer the time to answer questions from attendees.
Already, the program is full of sessions that will be of deep interest to anyone who is following Africa’s exciting journey. There will be tales from the regulatory frontline, an insight into how central banks are approaching the creation of national digital currencies, and a deep-dive into the challenges of banking in the world of blockchain and crypto.
The Crypto Finance Conference says its emphasis lies in ensuring that those attending the invite-only event in Switzerland have every opportunity to establish meaningful interactions through extensive networking sessions. The plush surroundings of a luxury ski resort in the Alps can only be described as a bonus.