Africa is the next frontier for global advancement, and this is quite evident with the continent now outperforming many other regions in adopting emerging technologies, Including cryptocurrency.
Two people who are leading efforts to get more governments and businesses in Africa to adopt blockchain have stepped forward in the BSV Global Blockchain Agreement to talk about the progress they have made in bringing their native Nigeria, and eventually the rest of the continent, to a chain on the BSV Foundation’s blockchain.
On the first day of the event, Jeffrey Wylie-Wusu and Muhammad Ibrahim Jega were on stage to talk about better government and enterprise applications with BSV. The two are the founders of Domineum Blockchain Solutions, a London-based blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) provider that focuses on BSV-powered applications. They were also named BSV Ambassadors for West and East Africa earlier this year.
For Weli-Wosu, it all started in 2016 when he returned to Nigeria after spending several years in the UK. He soon learned that one of the biggest challenges facing the government in the West African country is the lack of digitization of public sector operations.
Through Domineum, Weli-Wosu champions this drive towards digital governance. As he told the audience, his mission is to “disrupt the public sector in Africa by integrating distributed ledger technology solutions.”
Because of the low digitization of most services, Africans usually have to rely on third parties who act as intermediaries between citizens and the government. These middlemen have been known to take advantage of powerless citizens and demand huge sums of money in shady and corrupt transactions. But with the blockchain platform, citizens can deal directly with public agencies and access services in a safe, convenient and efficient environment.
Jeffrey Wylie-Wosu on GBC22
Giga said Domineum is focusing on three segments in providing services. The first is business-to-government communication, through which the startup has helped many governments digitize in order to “prevent leaks and increase efficiency.”
The second is business-to-business, through which the company helps companies streamline operations and reduce costs, all in an effort to increase profitability.
Domineum has also focused on capacity building. Unlike the other two, this is not a direct service. Instead, the two entrepreneurs bridged the blockchain skills gap that has been plaguing the region for a few years now.
Weli-Wosu and Jega are leading initiatives to educate public sector workers and key decision makers to enable them to understand what blockchain is and how it can change their operations. Key to this drive has been the separation of digital assets from the blockchain, with the misguided thinking of speculative assets “to the moon” whenever technology emerges.
Mohamed Ibrahim Giga on GBC22
They also educate university students and provide them with skills that can allow them to compete in the blockchain ecosystem.
Weli-Wosu revealed that Domineum has three main products, the first of which is geared towards supply chain management, especially for the marine sector and is the company’s cash cow. It helps the government keep track of all containers coming in and going out of its ports, most recently with the Sierra Leone Ports Authority.
The second product focuses on the land registry. Land ownership is a contentious issue in Nigeria and Africa in general, with corrupt officials taking advantage of the highly opaque nature of land registration to bequeath themselves thousands of acres of land, usually at the expense of innocent citizens.
“This is where blockchain should come in, helping them digitize the entire Earth system and automate processing,” Giga told the audience.
Domineum founders talk about BSV government
Domineum also performs BSV certification verification. This has primarily focused on educational and professional credentials. Many Nigerian students and young professionals are having a hard time getting their credentials certified, especially when they get opportunities outside their country, and Domineum is working to solve this problem. Currently, the company is conducting a pilot trial with Baze University in Nigeria.
Jega believes Domineum may be the first to push blockchain use in Africa, but more will follow. He concluded that it is time for Africans to make products for Africa because they fully understand the challenges the continent faces first-hand and are better equipped to solve them.