John Lombela: Africa – A melting pot of blockchain opportunities

An interview with Cryptopreneur, John Lombela

Part 4 of 6

PNXT: There are obvious barriers for the majority of Africans though, such as lack of access to many of the relevant technologies and even basic services like connecting to the Internet or even electricity. So how do you think you can overcome the various challenges to unlock the potentially huge African market?

Just about 10 days ago, when I was in India, I was invited to speak at a panel discussion and I was one of three panelists. The whole show was streamed live on a national radio station that is tuned into across the country and the idea of blockchain solutions in the developing world comes up. My answer is very easy, with regard to the infrastructure. The correct word is that we can “leapfrog” industrialised nations.

We don’t have to pay the cost that others have incurred down the journey for them to be able to bring the technology to the level it is today. I mean, think about it, we are already talking about the 5G revolution. So let the other guys pay the price for bringing technology where it’s supposed to be until it is normal, worldwide. The worldwide fight about who is best and who’s bringing about the first technologies, who is better, who is against the Americans and whatnot… We don’t care. 5G technologies are there. And what we know, one thing for sure, is that the African continent doesn’t lack telecom operators, irrespective of how old they are in terms of technology today.

One thing, for sure, is that every single African country today has some sort of Internet access. Now, the question as to how far the technology depends on how well the infrastructure operates. We now at least ensure that the majority, 70% or more, of the African population still uses the old-fashioned technologies, or earlier forms. That’s what the problem is.

With us though, when it comes to places like Kenya, which has shown resilience in implementing the M-Pesa application. It actually happens to be the most successful use case in the world! Way above even the Americans when it comes to utilizing technology, mobile phones, feature phones, for transactions.

Continuing with the next topic…

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