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Lack of skills blocking Blockchain in Africa

Africa , 24 Aug 2018

Lack of skills blocking Blockchain in Africa

Africa needs to develop the required skills if it is to take advantage of Blockchain technology.

This is according to techpreneurs referenced in Liquid Telecom's Africa Blockchain Report 2018, who believe this issue is having a negative impact on more widespread adoption of the technology.

Zachariah George, co-Founder and CIO of startup accelerator Startupbootcamp AfriTech, is quoted in the report as saying: "Developers and entrepreneurs in Africa are working towards incorporating Blockchain technology into their apps and platforms. However, it is still a relatively new and 'under-understood' space. We are yet to see many relevant applications involving Blockchain technologies."

According to George, this knowledge gap can be mitigated by changing the curriculum at higher learning institutions.

"Academic institutions and private programmes are best suited to providing support and training for entrepreneurs, primarily because of the non-partisan nature of their work. Information on Blockchain changes on a daily basis, so getting a credible institution of higher learning to provide dynamic training on the subject is ideal."

Babu Paul, Director in the Institute for Intelligent Systems at the University of Johannesburg believes educational institutions are best placed to develop talent related to Blockchain.

"The technologies required in the fourth industrial revolution are becoming more and more multidisciplinary and multi-sectoral. This is why universities with expertise from various disciplines are best suited for the task of training entrepreneurs and developers with the skills they need to prepare for Blockchain."

The University of Johannesburg is rolling out several new courses that include cybersecurity, as well as a postgraduate course in financial engineering that will feature Blockchain-related content.

In terms of Blockchain tech adoption, George said there is a clear opportunity to create utility tokens rather than simply launching ICO (Initial Coin Offering).

According to the Report utility-based tokens provide investors "with access to a valuable asset or service", whereas many companies sell tokens to raise money without offering any other benefit other than the current value of the token itself.

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