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Changing how we think about blockchain in Africa

Blockchain can have a huge impact on our daily lives – but some of the most tangible benefits are likely to be seen in the public sector.

This will more clearly be seen as smart cities become more commonplace and people create and share data, use government services and make payments in these cities using the blockchain, says Ahmed Yousif, Lead of BSV Blockchain for Government Initiative in the Middle East.

Yousif gave the example of vehicles fitted with IoT devices which can communicate not only with one another but also with the buildings around them. This means that if there is an accident, traffic or even something as small as a pothole, the car can detect this information.

‘This is one of the very useful use cases for cities and governments for blockchain and mass-scale adoption,’ he said.

Driving innovation in Nigeria through a focus on entrepreneurship

However, to accelerate the adoption of this technology, there needs to be a sustained drive by government officials to lift those citizens who are committed to making technological advancements and are willing to think outside of the box, Yousif said.

‘When we went to school and went to universities they trained us how to be labourers and how to work for someone. But they have never actually taught us how to build our own businesses, our own companies, and take our ideas and run with them.

‘But when leaders force academia to accelerate their programmes and develop them from ideas into businesses, that is the direction that will drive innovation and will help the adoption of blockchain and the technological future of Nigeria,’ he said.

Bridging the gap between government and innovators

While innovation requires leaders to make decisions and put things into action, it also means shaking up the status quo and changing the way we currently think about education and technology development, Yousif said.

He noted that while there is tremendous value in having students follow the traditional mode of going learning at school, going to university and getting a job – this was unlikely to breed the innovation required within the country’s youth to make a generational impact.

Instead, Yousif encouraged governments to make their students and young people ‘digitally native’ as young as possible.

‘We need people to have this mindset from day one. These are people who are digitally native and can change the world and Nigeria without having to go live and work in Europe or the US.’

Promoting blockchain in governance with BSV

With its massive scalability and public nature, BSV is the ideal blockchain for government applications to benefit citizens – through more efficient delivery of e-government, eliminating government agency data silos, increasing transparency, enabling greater financial inclusion, building technology-driven communities of tomorrow, achieving ESG goals, and advancing public good.

You can read some of the different ways governments and public sector groups around the world are using the BSV blockchain right now here.

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