ABA, Blockchain and the quest for growth and integration in Africa
Africa is a rich, diverse and promising continent – but it is beset by many challenges, key among them a youth unemployment rate that is estimated to be well above the global average. A recent report estimates that 10 to 12 million African youths enter the workforce each year, but only about 3.1 million jobs are being created. The report also indicates that Africa’s youth population is expected to double to more than 830 million by 2050. Many of these young people are excluded from the labour force for reasons such as lack of skills or work experience. Chronic unemployment perpetuates the cycle of poverty and limited life options, and promotes crime, risky migration and other challenges, not just for Africa but for the rest of the world.
But development and the creation of wealth, as has been demonstrated in other regions of the world, especially the advanced nations, is not rocket science. Young people in Africa have the potential, the ability and the desire to thrive like their counterparts in other parts of the world, but they are held back by the absence or inadequacy of the factors necessary for growth.
Unfortunately, the majority of these vibrant youths do not possess the necessary skills to create or leverage on these new technologies. Hence the need to educate the youth (and even the older generation) on the tools they need to launch our nation and continent into a better future – truth being that the economic structures of today will not be able to support the young and growing population of tomorrow.
ABA’s vision is to help create an integrated and interconnected Africa characterized by the free movement of goods, services, personnel, knowledge and resources to uplift our peoples as well as equip them with the best blockchain education, acumen and tools to shape their own futures and that of their communities and nations. It is ABA’s belief that technology, particularly blockchain, holds great promise for that future, hence its fervent advocacy for a blockchain developer program custom-tailored for Africans. Known as the Ethereum Developer Programme, this educational course – established in partnership with ConsenSys Academy – aims to give our youths the opportunity to gain the skills necessary to become industry-ready blockchain developers armed with the skills necessary to add significant value to their organizations, businesses, and make them marketable to top blockchain companies across the globe. This course is being offered at a much more reduced rate for Africa in order to foster diversity and inclusion. ABA is working with our network of partners across the continent and in the diaspora to provide mentorship and support activities in the course of this programme. On successful completion of the program and submission of a blockchain project, graduates of each successive group (known as a cohort) are issued with their certification on the Ethereum blockchain. Blockchain and other disruptive new technologies have created a shift in the way businesses in every industry will be carried out.