Eric Osuorah is a seasoned technology expert with a vision to drive socially impacting projects and solutions through blockchain in Africa. In a chat with Technext, the Canada-based Nigerian and founder/CEO of AFOMA & SELLITIC, a decentralised e-commerce platform built for artisans, narrates his blockchain journey and what he hopes to achieve with AFOMA.
He started in the blockchain space about 7years ago with certification as a Blockchain Solutions Architect.
“The potential of what blockchain offers as a disruptive and impactful technology is what got me interested in getting into the space.” – Eric Osuorah.
He contributes back to his home country, Nigeria with a Canada-incorporated humanitarian initiative called AZONETA, a charity with the purpose of poverty alleviation, quality education, good health and well-being focused around sub-Saharan Africa.
This charity scheme is what inspired his journey into starting SELLITIC and AFOMA.
“I decided to leverage blockchain technology because of the need for us to build a business model that can allow for inclusion and diversity. And blockchain can allow us to achieve that.”
AFOMA & SELLITIC
AFOMA is a blockchain protocol with a utility token (OMA token) used within the ecosystem. The OMA token will be used towards incentivising active users contributing towards the mission of enabling creative economy and social impact initiatives.
SELLITIC is an online handicraft marketplace which exists within the AFOMA ecosystem for creators (creatives) from all parts of the globe.
“We are however building a marketplace that will enable creators from the developing world. SELLITIC will be a very affordable platform for creators in developing countries that can’t afford to sell on other marketplaces. SELLITIC will also facilitate shipping globally for all products sold on our marketplace. There will be no upfront costs to the creators selling on our platform. And SELLITIC will reward our customers and creators that engage in active marketplace engagements such as buying a product, referrals and just getting positive customer feedback. These rewards can be redeemed in our OMA tokens”
According to Eric Osuorah, the benefit AFOMA protocol will offer is that it puts them in a unique position to reward active users who contribute towards social good, and most importantly, will be the bridge to the adoption of Web3 within the creative economy.
“We have started to onboard creators from Nigeria and Canada which are the two countries we are piloting with first. So we welcome all creators from both countries looking for a marketplace that is purpose-driven and looking to allow them to scale at an affordable cost. In addition, a marketplace that is futuristic and will prepare and transition them into the future.”
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Eric says AFOMA wants creators to truly benefit from their work. Importantly, it wants to leverage NFTs to provide real value.
“We want to be different from what we see in the world today. We want to leverage NFTs and all these emerging technologies to solve real-world issues. That’s what matters to us and that’s how we create real value.”
On Blockchain in Africa
As a Nigerian that has been in different climes, while describing the entrepreneurial experience in more developed countries compared to developing regions like Africa, Eric Osuorah says the culture and approach to things he feels are different.
“I have collaborated with entrepreneurs in Africa and it’s honestly not easy conducting businesses based on the culture difference. I don’t get a level of intensity I would hope to see from entrepreneurs in Africa. This has been my experience so far.”
He is however proud and happy to see the strides a lot of his fellow founders and entrepreneurs are making on their beloved continent.
On the knotty issue of blockchain regulation. Eric Osuorah says there’s definitely a need for crypto regulation. However, this has to be done responsibly because innovation needs to be encouraged by government institutions, which is why regulation should be handled as a partnership.
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Putting a ban on cryptocurrency doesn’t help anyone, according to Eric. The government needs to come to the table and make an effort to understand the technology and the potential it has to offer.
“I can understand the concerns they have. No one wants to see their legal tender lacking value. Or most importantly, seeing a lot of people losing their livelihood due to scams. However, we can always find a way to circumvent this. It will require a lot of education and both parties (governments and crypto/Web3 companies) coming together.”– Eric Osuorah
He has no doubt that Africa will play a critical role in blockchain because it is the right environment where the technology can create value.
“If and only if, founders or entrepreneurs like myself can create solutions that solve problems. Only then, can we truly see a massive understanding and adoption of the technology?”
On what the near future holds for Eric and AFOMA, he says the ecosystem will be having a soft launch of their online marketplace before Christmas. He told me he is very excited to show the world the impact they can create by enabling MSMEs across Nigeria and Canada.
“I am excited to show how we plan to leverage our metaverse world towards solving real-world issues. Most especially as we transition traditional creators into Web3. We will be doing some exciting things around how we can protect cultural tourism within the metaverse. This is what I am very excited about.” – Eric Osuorah.
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