Opinion: Africa is still a footnote, but this is where opportunity lies


We’ve just come back from Devcon 6 in Bogota, Colombia. The event was incredible, and we’re excited to share some highlights with you.

Our main takeaway was that there is still much work to be done on inclusivity and expanding real-world use cases such as RightfulShare, when it comes to Web3 . Much of the work still at the centre of this community is very technical and focused on providing solutions for problems in Ethereum rather than external applications. These kinds of ‘outside.’ cases will likely become more apparent as the space develops. 

It was lovely to meet builders from across the Ethereum space and hear inspiring discussion on what the overall community is aiming for. From Vitalik speaking about Ethereum’s journey this far to Nick Johnson, from ENS, discussing identity in the web3 space. 

In one discussion, called Web3 Adoption in Africa, the panelists provided an overview of cryptocurrencies’ explosive growth in Africa. According to World Economic Forum, between July 2020 and June 2021, Africa received $105.6 billion worth of cryptocurrency payments – an increase of 1200%from the year before!

There is a hunger for the opportunities that crypto and blockchain are creating for their economies and communities. On-chain mechanisms get money to the people, reduce opportunities for fraud and create a better, more transparent, environment to do business. In addition, new revenue streams are emerging such as NFTs, gaming, metaverse creating, peer-to-peer markets, lending, borrowing and investment.   

With the massive talent base present in Africa, it is important to focus on providing real access to education in web3 entrepreneurship. However, to enter this space there are basic necessities such as a smartphone, access to the internet and electricity. This requires a basic income, a starting point from which to build. 

By facing this necessity head on, through providing a basic income, beneficiaries can focus on growth rather than having tunnel vision on day-to-day survival. By removing the concern of basic provision, there becomes space to focus on creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship. 

This is where RightfulShare comes in. We want to show that a basic income is a pre-requisite for creating a more inclusive and social just economy – a fundamental goal of Web3 public goods. 

We want to show that a basic income stimulates entrepreneurship and innovation, and that providing education for Web3 enhances global participation in the future. We want to provide the Web3 ecosystem access to diverse thinkers, builders and creators with experiences that can help ensure the community is not just siloed to those born into privileged circumstances. 

So, for the next Devcon, we would like to see the inclusion of realistic external investment and interest in developing countries. Moving beyond considering those who already have access to the basics and onboarding the talent that is present in underserved communities. 

For web3 to reach its full potential, it needs Africa.

Leila Stein

Board Member RightfulShare An Income Movement