If you are familiar with African history, you must have come across the word ‘Bantu’. It is a language group of about 700 languages spread across Africa. As simple as it may sound it has puzzled the minds of linguists, historians and even archaeologists. Today it has found its way into blockchain, speaking the language of the future.
Bantu Blockchain Foundation(BBF) is a non-profit organisation built to support the development of Blockchain in Africa. It is designed to facilitate the use of Blockchain around Africa.
Bantu Xpansion Initiative on the other hand, is an extension of efforts put together by BBF to spread it’s tentacles across Africa. It’s first launch was in Ghana on the 15th of January, 2022 and on 21st January, it unveiled its first Brand Influencers at the Bantu Xpansion programme that was held in the city of Lagos, Nigeria.
Facilitating the 4th industrial revolution?
For a long time there has been a margin between Africa and the developed world. For as long as we can remember Africa has been developing. That point where 90% of the countries are developed is yet to come.
According to the Human Development Index(HDI) in 2020, Africa falls below the first 65 countries. With Nigeria being the 161st country on the list with an index of 0.539.
The point here is, we are not equals with Europe or Australia. But we can be if we build an economy as strong as theirs. The 4th industrial revolution seems to me like a cheat sheet where we can get to the top if we adopt the innovation that is moving the world forward.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is characterized by a fusion of the digital, biological and physical worlds, where artificial intelligence, cloud computing, robotics, 3D printing, the “internet of things” and advanced wireless technologies see increased development worldwide.
Speaking at the Launch in Lagos. CEO/Founder of BBF, Mr Ernest Mbenkum made a valid comment on the 4th industrial revolution;
“In the era of the 4th industrial revolution, Africa can no longer afford to be the last. We have come of age, and we are growing exponentially. We have the largest and youngest demographic in the world, and we have the most technology-literate youths in our ecosystem.”
He asserts that Africa has the potential to excel in the revolution. And imperatively the Bantu Blockchain Foundation along with similar companies of course, can lead Africa into this revolution. In spite of the fact that the stakes are still very narrow.
Speaking at the Launch, Sir Abubakar Suleiman, MD/CEO of Starling Bank adds that;
“The power of tech is best expressed by the size and passion of the tech ecosystem. Bantu is an African tech ecosystem, possibly the first non commercial attempt at unifying the tech generation on our continent.
Bantu is not just about the XBN, it is about the culture of building for ourselves, or believing in ourselves, of supporting one another across generations and across national borders.”
However, according to the management consulting firm McKinsey, African countries spend about 1.1% of gross domestic product on digital investment, less than half the share of what developed economies spend. Internet penetration is also low, averaging less than 40% compared to 62.7% in the rest of the world.
When facts are displayed on the table, some promises begin to sound empty. With the current state of most African countries, BBF has a thick wall to penetrate. Ranging from lack of awareness to negligent government, their journey seems long. But their plans look promising.
How does BBF intend to “lead” the Revolution?
No doubt, BBF has played a key role in crypto verse, fostering a decentralised record of transactions. It promises to facilitate a smooth Blockchain ecosystem.
The platform is ready to use from day one. It gives users access with the full functionality of the network and ecosystem using a fair incentive model. Tackling the inherent issue of ignorance and scepticism to some extent.
Tobi Oyetoke CEO of Bitpowr attests to the fact that it is indeed a challenge faced in establishing the Blockchain industry in Africa. He told Nairametrics;
“We surveyed to find people that are interested in using crypto to purchase goods outside the country and we found that many people were not interested because of the notion that crypto is a scam.” https://nairametrics.com/2022/01/12/nigerian-startup-bitpowr-is-providing-the-tools-for-businesses-to-venture-into-blockchain/
In addition, applications and services such as Bantu wallet, Bantu Blockchain Explorer, Bantu Talk Forum, Bantu Network Dashboard and a few others make the platform user friendly.
The Bantu Network makes it possible to instantly and securely transfer, swap, and trade digital assets globally and at extremely low cost. This makes international transactions smoother. It provides a swift, secure, scalable, and reliable technology infrastructure for global digital asset transfers and payment.
It combines the best attributes of popular blockchains and Distributed Ledger Technologies (speed, security, reliability) and adds a human element that economically empowers every participant on the network while lowering the entry barriers for participation.
It is a truly distributed network infrastructure with a decentralized governance model in the real sense of the word for wealth creation and economic sovereignty for humanity. The fact that emphasis is made on humanity, is a promising feature.
Companies and financial institutions across the world can connect to Bantu network via APIs. Also known as Application Programming Interface which is a connection between computers or between computer programs.
BBF is part of the organisations that are changing the narrative of the African economy. A decentralised system of finance seems to be the next move for the whole world and Africa is definitely not missing out on it. If BBF is able to lay this foundation across Africa, it will go a long way for those who will come after.