Marrakech, Morroco, Jul 10 – Over 20 of the globe’s most renown technology thought leaders are gathered in Marrakech, Morroco for an exclusive forum discussing how to build Blockchain Technology in Africa.
Among those attending the exclusive forum that is being hosted by billionaire Sir Richard Branson, is Google Co-Founder, Sergey Brin and Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Information, Communications, and Technology (ICT), Joe Mucheru.
The 4-day Blockchain Summit in Morocco, which ends tomorrow, is focusing on promising ways through which blockchain technology can improve the lives of people in Africa and the Middle East.
Speaking at the forum, Mucheru – who is also a member of the Blockchain Alliance, says blockchain innovation needs to come from within Africa and stay there.
In addition to working with regulators to keep blockchain startup revenue flowing into Kenya by incentivizing these startups to list on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE), Mucheru says he wants to help young African coders learn how to write blockchain code as a matter of preserving their culture.
Blockchain is the technology used by cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and refers to a continuously growing list of records that are linked and secured using cryptography.
A blockchain, by design, is resistant to alteration or modification and some countries have already started applying the technology for official business.
Already, Ghana-based Bitland and Kenya-based Land Layby are working to use blockchain to create formally recognized infrastructures for proving land ownership.
The World Economic Forum estimates that 90 per cent of Africa’s land is “completely” undocumented.
Mucheru further says he is hopeful that Nairobi-based BitPesa, a bitcoin payments firm will list on the NSE someday.
Mucheru, who was also an early investor in BitPesa, divested his shares when he took his current government position three years ago.
Founded in 2013, BitPesa was among the first wave of bitcoin startups and has since grown to 70 employees, in Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Cameroon and Uganda.
CS Mucheru’s participation in the forum comes nearly six months since the ICT CS formed an 11-member taskforce on Blockchain and Internet of Things Technology. Former ICT Permanent Secretary, Dr. Bitange Ndemo was appointed to chair an 11-member Taskforce on Blockchain Technology.
The task force was set up following a directive by President Uhuru Kenyatta to the ICT Ministry in February to form a task force that would focus on how Kenya can leverage on Blockchain and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies.
President Kenyatta said the country has been a leader in digital innovation and would not be left behind in the latest trends.
The President added that the potential for digital dividends is enormous if its transformational potential is harnessed by creating the right policy framework, saying the internet and associated digital trade of goods and services have led up to 10 percent rise in employment in Africa.