Some notable international experts in information technology, business finance and development present at the much anticipated maiden edition of Blockchain Africa conference had unanimously declared that blockchain technology had not only come to stay but also to open a new vista for economic growth and development in Africa.
In a well attended event hosted by Steph Mekwuye, Founder and CEO Eka Consult and Strategist/ Coordinator for the Fintech worldwide held at the Wheatbaker, Ikoyi, Lagos, the speakers gave extensive ways that blockchain can solve a good number of problems confronting the continent’s economic development and growth.
They were also unequivocal in their declaration that, with the current global trend, there are wide range of opportunities that blockchain technology has come to provide for African continent and the world as a whole.
In her opening remarks, Mekwuye pointed out that as far as blockchain technology is concerned, Africa is a virgin as well as a fertile land where the technology will go a long way in aiding socio-economic development in all fronts. Therefore, Nigeria as a leading economy on the continent and Lagos its foremost city, the conference is being held as scheduled to appraise blockchain technology and Africa’s opportunity.
“At present, blockchain technology has become a day to day technology in the Europe, America and some parts of Asia, Fintech Worldwide in conjunction with Eka consult brings an array of IT leaders and experts both within and outside the country to educate and enlighten the industry stakeholders on the opportunities in the blockchain technology.” she stated.
Speaking under the theme; “Technology Infrastructure in Nigeria”, the first speaker of the day, Yele Okeremi, CEO, Precise Financial Systems took the audience down the memory lane emphasising on metamorphosis of business processing and technology infrastructure development in Nigeria. According to him; “the trend is continuous, it has been changing from ages to ages and it is currently a digital age of blockchain technology.”
Other speakers who took turn at the event include; an artificial intelligence and blockchain strategist from Europe, Yannis Kalfouglou, partner, Vivat Group, Luis Novella, Director, Fintech Worldwide, Luis Carranza, CEO CYMANTIKS, Emeka Okoye, Managing Director, Michelle and Anthony Consulting, Olufemi Ajulo, CEO, SESO, Blockchain Land Registries, Daniel Bloch, Co-Founder, Workstation International Co-Work, Fareed Arogundade, Blockchain Engineer, CTO and Co-Founder, Jack and the Blockstalk LTD, Jack Tanner and CEO, Blockchain Quantum Impact, Jane Thomason.
While Luis Novella spoke under the topic, “Blockchain application in industry, he extensively demonstrated how Nigerian industries can make use of the technology to bring transparency into their business transaction. He particularly dwelled on the insurance industry as a case study. Olufemi Ajulo in his submission encouraged the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Science and Technology to initiate policies that that will tap into the benefits and opportunities in blockchain technology.
Emeka Okoye while speaking on the software ecosystem in Nigeria also laid emphasis on how Nigeria economy can be widened if opportunities in soft ware technology are fully maximised. He decried the decline in the rate of software development in Nigeria.
“We need to know that data is an infrastructure and economy builder in this era. Nigeria as a country must step up in promoting software development. We must also thrive to inject digital and visionary leaders to helm of affairs to fast-track Nigeria’s race to digital world.” he declared.
Meanwhile one of the highpoint of the event was the blockchain technology demonstration by some Nigerian software application development groups. These include Team-Valued, Quantum-Leap, Justice Fund among others. Team-Valued; led by Ade Dabiri which demonstrated how the technology can be used to reduce post electoral violence and controversies in Nigeria said that; “Blockchain will bring the required transparency, fairness and just play to the Nigerian electoral system.”
The events was attended by representatives of the Nigerian Immigration Service, Lagos State Government, top IT practitioners, business executives, students of tertiary institutions and youths.