#Blockchain, The new Messiah for #Africa!

#Microfinance and other financial development schemes are failing in #Africa because the majority of the continent is simply not included.

One is right to ask what is going wrong when many non governmental organizations (NGOs), International institutions and even #Fintechs startups are injecting millions of dollars in those financial inclusive projects, yet without any remarkable outcomes.

Wars and political crisis are not to be blamed anymore, as stats are showing a more stable continent than ever before.

Therefore, the only plausible element to blame is a failing traditional business model of those financial inclusive schemes. Deeper, it is more their technical infrastructure that is not at all adapted to the realities of the continent.

On that, on his twitter account, Boston based researcher, Mr Efosa Ojomo, expressed well the need of considering the beneficiary before building any type of infrastructure. He argues that the infrastructure needs to understand the people, not the opposite.

In fact, there are no such thing as accounting methods for emerging markets versus those used in developed world. Both markets will need same type of financial inputs to evaluate if an individual is solvable or not, for instance.

With that in mind, you quickly realize the missing part of today’s financial inclusive schemes in #Africa, is the ability from them to collect efficiently the needed inputs on a larger number of Africans.

Because, if many Africans have never declared their incomes to any centralized authority, how will you estimated your return on investment on any financial schemes for them?

Today’s financial technical infrastructures in Africa are lamely trying to collect the minimal required data with westerners accounting methods; which makes investing in #Africa look more like a gambling game with usurping rates, than anything else.

The reality today is like trying to build the great wall of China or shoveling snow of a Canadian city without adequate machinery. You may succeed after couple of hundred years and with the help of slaves, but definitely this can’t work nowadays.

That is where #Blockchain appears as a savior for both, those well intended looking to spread financial inclusive services to the last mile in an African village and the larger number of Africans in informal financial activities.

Considering the high adoption rate of mobile feature phones by Africans, the continuously falling price of smartphones thanks to China and the fact that internet will be a public commodity as road in a near future, mergims.com is building an online business facilitator platform and mobile applications on distributed ledgers technologies (DLTs), that once embedded in a cheap Chinese smartphone will make the informal financial activities of more than a billion of #Africans, a very reliable sources of data, more valuable than even what could be collected in the western world with taxes declaration forms. This will definitely trigger a tsunami of financial services in the next 5 years, thus lifting many on the continent out of poverty.

#Blockchain technology is so reliable that one could take it for a messiah sent to financially save Africa.

Muhire Louis-Antoine
Founder & Managing director of mergims.com
Serial entrepreneur in internet related businesses

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Are Startups, The latest card of NGOs in Africa?

Are Startups, The latest card of NGOs in Africa?

Recently, I realized that not just western politics needed to change their narrative about Africa, but also investors; if both don’t want to miss out opportunities.

Even though Africa is rapidly getting stable, thus less in need of non government organizations (NGOs); the stereotype of considering Africans as second citizens of the world  is not disappearing or fading away, but gaining terrain elsewhere.

It is a fact that, there are not enough funds available for African startups and even rare for disruptive high tech ideas, ironically to not say arrogantly, considered as luxuries for Africans. Therefore, for many NGOs, African starters are the new skinny kids with signs of malnutrition.

Who needs to stream Nigerian movies from Iroko.tv, when only about 30% of Africans are connected to stable electricity and water?  

Stars are those proposing to build water wells in Africa or producing sanitary pads from banana leaves, though none can guarantee the long term sustainability of such nonprofitable business model; as if an unicorn can’t greatly impact communities!

Where things get even complicated is when you pitch an unusual perspective of african needs, such as online eCommerce platform or electrical car. In other words, you are pitching things that Africans do not need or even understanding!

Meanwhile, mobile money was an Africa thing first, then the world followed!

Remember the Iroko.tv above mentioned? Forget about investing your $10K USD for 50% of shares. It is now valued to more than $50 Million USD. Speaking of its impact, Iroko.tv has injected millions of dollars back in the Nigerian creative industry, thus making many people living a better live than they could have gotten from a nonprofitable business.

However, for any open mind, Africa is the Jackpot of all times.

Because, Africa is 1 billion population and more, with a barely exploited economy already producing a GDP of more than 3 trillion, at an average growth rate of 6% per year. Also, Africa is to remain the sole youngest continent on earth for the next 100 years, thanks to what the french president called the problem of having many babies in average per African family. And, am sure, you already know that Africa is the naturally richest continent on earth.

All that mass of people, aspiring to live in comfortable conditions as the rest of the world, combined with that huge wealth disposal, are great opportunities for he who will be clever enough to invest in Africans at the very early stage of their projects.

At mergims.com, we are convinced that time has come for a 100% scams free online business facilitating platform, thanks to blockchain.

Yes, crypto-technologies have a greater potential in unstructured environment!

Therefore, if we ask you $500k USD in our series A, it is not to speculate, but definitely we aim to greatly impact African communities with a sustainable and profitable business model.

mergims.com business model is to enable even a kid in a far village of Rwanda, with low computer skills, to sell his/her services/products to the world, thus increasing chances to live the African Dream.

 

Muhire Louis-Antoine
Founder & Managing director of mergims.com
Serial entrepreneur in internet related businesses

Forget A.I, Virtual Reality is bigger!

Forget A.I, Virtual Reality is bigger!

The recent debate between #Zuckerberg and #ElonMusk on artificial intelligence (A.I), made a lot of people think that if you had a dollar to invest, then it should be in #A.I.

But actually, the A.I debate is merely of a big concern for bright minds. Only the media, in need of traffic, made it sound like Mike Tyson VS Evander Holyfield fight, when the topic is relevant to many as the color of the sky is for you on a Sunday evening.

You see, A.I technology is mistakenly just associated to autonomous moving machines like cars and robots. Even though chatting bots are mentioned in the conversation, I personally believe that A.I is just going to be an advanced technology, among many others to be integrated in our daily lifestyle.

In fact, the #iRobots from #WillSmith movie, wanting to kill us, is pure fiction. Because, we move less as time goes by. Demolition man movie of #Stallone matches better the future of A.I.

Think of how many miles your parents had to commute for school. Today, we have school bus picking kids at their homes’ doors and tomorrow school will be on internet. Think of what it was like to order a pizza in the 90ies. Now you just order it from your smart phone and tomorrow your microwave will download it via the teleportation technology. How about calling your relatives abroad with that calling card from the convenience store. Now, you video chat and tomorrow, with the help of A.I, virtual reality (VR) will be enhanced to a level beyond today’s understanding.

For instance, on Sundays, I ditched my 30 minutes drive to church and no need of fancy clothes, fuel or enduring other costs traditionally associated to that day, when I can follow a Youtube preacher in the comfort of my bed, yet greatly get well fed spiritually.

As you can see, I need an integrated A.I offering a vivid experience, not a servant robot.

gearvr-crowd

Because, when I was a young refugee in Canada and my other siblings in different countries in Europe, we remotely talked, shared emotions and money to a point we rarely missed each other, thanks to technology, though it was primitive. Now, with the current world’s turmoil, people will migrate to unprecedented extent. In fact, it is already rare to find a family with all its members in the same country.

From that reality, came a 10 years journey on which mergims is to become an enhanced virtual ecosystem, in which a #Bank in #China will lend money to merchants in #Africa and a #Swiss insurance company will have clients in Africa.

In fact, thanks to big data analytics, blockchain based applications, A.I and other advanced technologies, we aim to enable billion of people to vividly, in a profitable, secure yet simplified ecosystem, interact with #Africa

Mergims may not look impressive for now, so did #google in its debuts; but definitely is a genius idea.

 

Muhire Louis-Antoine
Founder & Managing director of mergims.com
Serial entrepreneur in internet related businesses

The Next African Leapfrog move!

The Next African Leapfrog move!

If leapfrogging was to be introduced in the Olympics, it will be The African thing.

In a decade, Africans went from having less than 0.5% of landline telephones connection rate, to 80% owning up to 2 mobile phones. The majority of Africans who had no idea what a Bank was for,is the same majority, nowadays, financially transacting on mobile phones.

So, whats NEXT?

At the last Richmond Financial Industry Forum in Interlaken – Switzerland, I asked big players attending the vent, why #Barclays left Africa, while the continent is seen as the most promising place to invest, no matter what parameters used? Why on earth will you abandon a market of more than a billion population and probably is to double in the next 50 years?

After meeting more than 20 world biggest financial representatives attending the event, the takeaway was that Africans are in constant leapfrog mode, thus very challenging to serve.

Yet Africa is very generous on profits. I mean, take a look at the crazy service fees charged by money transfer operators, or the usury interest rates of the proliferating mobile money schemes, just to name a few.

So, what is the next disruptive African move?

Internet world stats just announced that only 10% of Africa was connected  to Internet!

As in Nicholas Cage’s movie “Lord of War”, except this time is for a good purpose, the same question applies: How do you get the other 90% on Internet?

Find the answer, you have your next African leapfrog move to impact the rest of the world, as mobile money trend did. Remember, Africa has no heritage with traditional / longtime existing way of doing things. Therefore, it is widely open to innovation.

That is why facebook, google and other international tech brands are working tirelessly on connecting the other 90%. Because, he who will succeed, will definitely cause a tsunami in telecommunications, finances and many other dogmas.

 

Muhire Louis-Antoine
Founder & Managing director of mergims.com
Serial entrepreneur in internet related businesses