[DISCUSSION] BitDAO x AfricaDAO: Accelerating Web3 Adoption Across The Fastest Growing Continent

Proposal Title: BitDAO x AfricaDAO: Accelerating Web3 Adoption Across The Fastest Growing Continent

Authors: Alice from AfricaDAO, James & Annemarie from Jambo, Jonathan Allen from Mirana Ventures, Eden Kidane from Windranger Labs, Sandeep Nailwal from Polygon, Santiago R Santos, Piers Kicks from Delphi Digital, and Marius Barnett from Karatage

Date: July 18th 2022

Background

Africa has been closely watched as the next big growth market for nearly a decade — and for good reason: the African continent is home to some of the youngest populations in the world, internet connectivity is expanding at exponential rates, and it is increasingly mobile phone-enabled.

Recent years have seen hundreds of tech hubs emerging across the African continent, driving innovation and providing significant employment, especially for its youth population. In 2020, The African Development Bank reported that 22% of Africa’s working-age population are starting businesses — the highest rate of entrepreneurship in the world. There is truly a blossoming community of young, driven entrepreneurs looking to build. With over 700M individuals owning cell phones (nearly 72% of youth aged 15-24) and the use of 4G expected to double over the next three years, hundreds of millions of Africans are extremely well positioned to launch, build, and participate in the future of web3.

How this benefits BitDAO:

In order to truly succeed, BitDAO will need to engage millions of users around the world. By positioning itself to support one of the largest, fastest-growing, and most promising markets, BitDAO stands to benefit immensely.

There is significant alignment with other previously launched BitDAO Autonomous Entities. Game7 stands to engage hundreds of millions of potential mobile users and empower them through new primitives such as those seen in P2E games. EduDAO would be extremely additive to African universities through collaborating and sharing knowledge to help students prepare for a career in web3. zkDAO is extremely ethos aligned in assisting in bringing truly community-owned and affordable scalability to future web3 applications usable by all. AfricaDAO will work with all of the existing BitDAO AE’s to expand their communities to the African continent.

Proposal:

Below we propose creating AfricaDAO, which will utilize a three-pronged approach to accelerating Africa into a hub for web3 innovation. $105M has already been soft committed, and $20M in funding is requested from the BitDAO community as an anchor partner.

Read the full proposal here

You can contact us for more information by visiting Africadao.world

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This is quite different than the other proposals I’ve read here and honestly I’m not too familiar with Africa, haven’t been yet but would be interesting to travel there at some point. My immediate questions after reading this are: What’s the actual sentiment across the region on crypto from regulators? Where are the main hubs for tech talent and crypto adoption?

I’m quite convinced emerging markets are where the next wave of web3 startups will happen, and Africa seems to be the place most untapped right now. I’ll also do more research myself, just curious to find out more in general. What I’m reading here has gotten me quite excited, if this launches could be big if done the right way.

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Hi Originallionfish,

Appreciate the thorough questions and interest in the region. I’m James, co-founder of Jambo and also co-author of this proposal as Jambo is also an avid supporter of AfricaDAO.

To answer a few of the questions above, Africa actually had 12x increase in crypto adoption last year and saw a 3x increase in venture funding. Seeing what region venture capital flows to in Africa is generally a good indicator for tech hubs. Thus, Nigeria definitely is the largest hub but Kenya and South Africa also rank top 10 in the world amongst local p2p bitcoin trading volume right behind. Although, 1/3 of Africa is francophone and we see great tech talent coming from these regions as well. For example, I am third generation growing up in the DRC, the largest francophone country in the world with 100 million population in Central Africa.

Good question on the regulators side, here’s some insights into what’s actually happening in a couple African countries as we speak, quite incredible actually! I see these as milestones for the entire crypto community and amazing progress for crypto/web3 adoption in general, more to come :slight_smile:

In October 2021, Nigeria became the first African country to issue a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) - the E-Naira.

Later on, in April 2022, Central African Republic (CAR) lawmakers voted unanimously to pass a bill adopting Bitcoin as legal tender, alongside with CFA franc. CAR is the second nation in the world to do so, after El Salvador. CAR has also established an ambitious government-backed project called Sango, which aims to embrace NFT and build a holistic metaverse environment. Sango is intended to drive actual use cases such as to tokenize real world assets such as natural resources and to create digital identities.

Just earlier this week, the Central Bank of South Africa (SARB) announced their plan to regulate and treat cryptocurrencies as financial products. Under this new policy, cryptocurrencies in South Africa will be monitored by the Financial Intelligence Center (FIA) for money laundering, tax evasion and terrorist financing activities.

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Hi @jamboalice

Congratulations on your initiative, I believe that Africa has a lot of potential for Web 3.

My doubts are about some technicalities, peculiarities that exist on the African continent and how your project will face some local challenges.

You mentioned a few times the number of smartphones in Africa, but if we analyze without a macro scenario and more information this can lead to mistakes, even with the 650M of mobile phones, the African population already exceeds 1.4B, this is a worrying picture compared to other regions of the world – Brazil, for example, has more smartphones than inhabitants (approximately 1.6 per person) – if we put this equipment deficit in Africa into population growth estimates (By 2050, a quarter of the world’s people will be African ~2.37B) the scenario may be worse than today. Do you have any research or approach to solving this problem?

My second question is about the internet connection, only 22% of the African continent has access, how do you plan to solve this? Let’s say that the problem of the lack of mobile devices has been solved, how to connect them on a large scale?

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Hi @jamboalice

I like how the proposal clarifies exactly how they want to collaborate with BitDAO from a strategic and financial standpoint. I agree that community growth is the key for BitDAO (or any DAO’s) continued success and that Africa is the largest untapped market due to low capital allocation and general historical political instability. Do you have any examples of the types of companies or startups that embody the characteristics laid out in the pdf, not necessarily just in Africa as a reference point e.g. lion, elephant, leopard etc.? Excited to learn more about this.

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This proposal looks great from a high level standpoint. Your advisory and support board looks stellar. I noticed that Jambo is a company mentioned amongst three of the proposers/advisory board and it seems Jambo and AfricaDAO share a number of supporters. Could you shed some light on what Jambo is and how exactly they’ll be involved with AfricaDAO?

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Hi BanktheUnbanked,

Appreciate the comment and thank you for your question.
Africa is a treasure chest filled with all types of undiscovered treasures unknown to most global investors but attention on Africa as a whole is increasing rapidly and us here at AfricaDAO are on a mission to bring the best talent across the region to the global stage.

Just to give you a few examples of rapidly growing companies in Africa in terms or user and revenue growth (by no means is this list conclusive and this doesn’t imply any investment decisions by our team):

  1. Transsion - the largest smartphone manufacturer by sales in Africa. Transsion is the parent company of phone brands Itel, Tecno and Infinix. It is a public listed company (SSE: 688036) on Shenzhen Stock Exchange. Transsion is valued at around US$ 9B. (https://www.transsion.com/)

  2. Flutterwave - a Nigerian fintech company that provides a payment infrastructure for global merchants and payment service providers across the continent via one API. Flutterwave is valued over US$1B (Endless possibilities for every business - Flutterwave)

  3. Andela - a global talent network that connects companies with engineering talent in emerging markets. Andela is valued at US$1.5B (https://andela.com/)

  4. Opay - a neobank based in Nigeria offering personal financial services via a mobile platform. Opay is valued at over US$2B (https://static.opayweb.com/)

  5. Wave - a US and Senegal-based mobile money provider. Wave is valued at $1.7B (Wave)

These are just a fraction of the number of hyper growth companies in the African market. Hope this gives you some more background on Africa! Hakuna matata!

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I am excited about this proposal. Africa is the under valued under hyped market. Most countries there have very unstable currencies, inflation affects these people the most. They need more web3 and crypto adoption to enable better wealth distribution. Additionally, as we know from what happened in Libya, Africa has already been poised to adopt a new currency. The gold dinar was thwarted, but the dream is not over for a better African led currency. Africa will rise, rise all the way to the moon.
I also like how the proposal also has representatives backing this from all the diverse regions of Africa. Too often we think Africa is just one homogenous region when in fact it is quite diverse and filled with multitudes. Only a team with this grassroots understanding can really handle this enormous undertaking. Looking at the team’s background and experiences, I can think of no other group of people who are better equipped to entrust with this money to deploy judiciously throughout all of Africa. Very bullish on Africa DAO.

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Where do you come up with these statistics? Have you been to Africa before? When I visited in the early 2010s and lived in a village, Many people had some sort of cell phone which also had data plans. Why would people buy mobile devices without being able to use them for connections? Many people in Africa actually have multiple cell phones, it’s a status symbol for many people. AfricaDAO won’t be solving every problem but I think they will focus specifically on how to educate people about the opportunities in web3 as well as ways to protect against currencies that will inflate and lose value over the long term.

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Thank you for the question Don.


Sources: Counterpoint Market Monitor Service, Transsion Group financial statements

Without a doubt Africa is the region with the most political instability amongst any emerging markets. The average African country is 2-10x higher in inflation than other countries in the world [1]. The region has seen an increase in 3x venture funding over the past year [2] with a 12x increase in crypto adoption [3], these stats prove that Africa will be the next continent to be on the radar for in terms of massive growth potential.

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Source: Counterpoint Research – Market Monitor Service

Public companies such as African well known unicorn mobile brand Transsion have proven Africa can have massive growth potential. Transsion did around $6.8bn in revenue selling 184m phone sets, and 85% (5.8bn) was from smartphones [4]. Because Transsion is a publicly listed co, the amount of smartphones sold gives a good idea of around where we stand in terms of mobile penetration given that Transsion stands for almost 45% of African mobile market share.

The companies AfricaDAO will be empowering will be helping the region leapfrog past legacy gatekeepers in our opinion. Using web3 and cryptocurrency to circumvent middlemen and inefficiencies in the old traditional systems.

image

[1]African countries and their inflation rates in 2022
[2]https://thebigdeal.substack.com/p/tick-tick-boom-q1-results-are-in?s=w
[3]P2P Platforms, Remittances, and Savings Needs Power Africa’s Grassroots Cryptocurrency Adoption - Chainalysis
[4] Transsion Updates: Q1 2022

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Very thoughtful and exciting proposal with exceptional people involved. Africa could certainly be poised for exponential growth over the next decade. Most African countries are in a position to benefit greatly from web3 tech and infrastructure for obvious reasons – wealth preservation, remittance issues, banking the unbanked, access to financing and yield opportunities, etc so this feels like a great place to make web3 investments, but Africa is fairly diverse with lots of different cultures, laws, and governments. I did see that @jambojames mentioned growing up in the DRC. Curious to know if those involved have connections and experience working with multiple African countries and governments?

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Hello,

There are definitive advantages from smartphone adoption and population growth. Conversely, there are obstacles in terms of regulations and infrastructure. But in my mind, these disadvantages can be turned into opportunities with the right technology.

Case in point, M-Pesa. When I was living in Kenya (in 2010), M-Pesa was a revelation. There were farmers in rural areas, living without running water or electricity, but able to transfer money peer-to-peer through SMS messaging. They were already banking the unbanked, without financial infrastructure, and in the absence of basic living necessities.

Now this isn’t quite the full promise of a fully decentralized blockchain, eliminating intermediaries and providing sovereign digital ownership. But this also wasn’t something that was readily available around the world. It was a clear example of a leapfrogging technology, utilizing the tools available and skipping ahead in technical development and adoption.

With the introduction of crypto/web3, the opportunity for Africa (and Kenya) to leapfrog forward once again is here. And once again this can be accomplished with the innovative use of existing blockchain technologies in novel ways, even in the absence of economic advantages available in other parts of the world.

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this sounds like a super cool initiative!

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Great initiative to support and more conviction on Africa and AfricaDAO after reading through this blog post (Next Continent for 10x Crypto Adoption: Africa | by Jambo Technology | Jambo Technology | Jul, 2022 | Medium)!

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This is a great initiative. I am based in South Africa so well aware of what Crypto can do for Africa. Many Africans dont even have access to a local bank account, however they are able to gain access to a mobile phone. Crypto & the Blockchain facilitates freedom and giving the power to the people. Big thumbs up, yes, HUGE opportunities for Africa.

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I think it’s pretty clear where the next demographic waves will come from - EMs especially lower income areas like Africa. If you look at P2E especially, the main target users will be those without access to stable or regular income. No brainer here IMO.

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@coldPlunger

My sources are the International Telecommunications Union, World Economic Forum and International Finance Corporation.

Perhaps you have answered your third question in the continuation of your own text. I’m not making assumptions, just quoting the facts. I have lived in Brazil for 30 years, it is a country with continental proportions, my experience is limited and I dare not say that I know it better than data and statistics – The same with Africa which is literally a continent.

Acceleration and mass adoption projects that do not deeply observe local and infrastructure aspects are discontinued and can be fatal to the growth of the scenario. That’s why I asked these questions.

[1] • Africa: total population forecast 2020-2050 | Statista
[2] Bringing Africa Up to High Speed.
[3] Africa's population growth will triple by 2050 | World Economic Forum
[4] Brasil tem mais smartphones que habitantes, aponta FGV | CNN Brasil

@JamboAlice

Yes, we already agree that Africa has huge potential, but it is also one of the most difficult geolocations at the deployment level because of infrastructure problems, which currently are hardware and internet connection.

These problems are not new and will not solve themselves, so it is up to us, with our large-scale adoption projects, to seek to solve them or at least minimize them; if we don’t want to depend on the performance of others.

The data you presented are good indications, but what is your plan for using this information? For example… did you plan to develop networking with this smartphone industry for integrations or sales incentives in your territory?

These answers are important for us to understand your project and vision, this can even enable collaborations of mutual interest such as Continent DAO in the area of ​​infrastructure or project “X” that has a DeFi product and wants to integrate into your dapps, other projects and etc. This is our proposal with BitDAO (doc), we recently made an update on initial conversations with international organizations (United Nations + ITU) that can also collaborate on our projects in African territory – they have great expertise and are already connecting the internet to hundreds of schools in Africa.

Anyway, it would be interesting to have more information about your plans. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Great question! Jambo is one of the anchor proposers of AfricaDAO, and the Jambo team has been working hard on supporting and launching AfricaDAO for almost half a year now, we are super excited word is finally getting out!

Jambo is building the web3 superapp of Africa that will educate, bank, and entertain the continent. Our mission is to onboard the next millions and potentially even billion users across Africa onto web3.

Jambo aims to pioneer the largest, most influential Web3 user acquisition portal across the continent. Jambo serves as the bridge between Africa and applications from around the world seeking to tap into the African market. The opportunity here is immense. We have a long-term vision of realizing financial prosperity for Africans.

AfricaDAO’s vision aligns directly with Jambo’s as we both are spearheading the future ecosystem for web3 development in Africa. As a partner of AfricaDAO, Jambo’s team will use its extensive on-the-ground knowledge and experience of the region to facilitate acceleration for projects with the right talent.

Cheers!

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Thanks for sharing our blog post. We aim to help “demistify” the region as we provide regular updates on what we are seeing from our local operations and partners.

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Hopefully Commonwealth can help sync with us on tooling infra as we scale! Appreciate the show of support.

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