Decred’s Akin Sawyerr Says Blockchain Is Part of Africa’s Political Future

John Biggs

Akin Sawyerr, founder of Feleman Limited, an Africa-focused impact investment and advisory firm based in the Washington, D.C., area, spoke to CoinDesk at the Digital Money Forum. His message? That decentralized finance and governance can rebuild economies all over the world.

“I have geographical purview over Africa. So a lot of what I’ve been working on is identifying opportunities around Africa,” he said at the forum held at CES 2020 in Las Vegas. “One of the big challenges you see across Africa is governance. And wherever you have weak governance you have more transaction costs. We believe that cryptocurrencies and crypto networks will have a lot of applications across Africa.”

Ultimately, he said, weak governance makes it harder to get things done. In fact, it makes business deals more expensive and less interesting to outside investors.

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“We’re sort of at the point where people appreciate the methods of governance at Decred,” he said, referring to the company he works for that’s behind the digital currency of the same name. He’s currently looking to expand these tools to the U.S. and believes adoption will be much slower thanks to heavy regulation.

“People [in the U.S.] can vote and people have agency,” or the ability to act on their own behalf, he said. Instead of selling solutions to the U.S., he expects places like Africa to be early adopters for blockchain-based governance solutions.

“There’s just more value in going into these environments,” he said.

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