Mouloukou Sanoh, the co-founder of the Web3 platform Cassava Network, is one of the prominent personalities keenly interested in driving Web3 adoption in Africa. He is an Investment Manager at Adaverse and he previously ran Mansa Capital, an investment advisory firm that helped African startups raise funding.
In an interview with Technext, the global character discusses how web3 can change the landscape in Africa. He was born in Guinea but has lived in three other countries: China, Netherlands and Belgium.
And commenting on the reason why he’s exploring the power of blockchain in Africa, he says:
So let’s look at the macroeconomic picture of things. The Naira has lost 60% of its value over the past five years. Number two is inflation; due to the poor currency, we’ve had huge inflation. Number three, the current financial system does not work for Africa. It’s super expensive, and it takes super long to send money to the African continent. So according to the World Bank, it costs an average of 10% in fees to send money to Africa. But on the flip side, we’ve got a large youth population. 70% of Africa is under 30 and has a booming tech scene.
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Mouloukou Sanoh says all of this has created the perfect environment for digital assets, which has led to Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya having the highest ownership of cryptocurrency per capita.
“So, the reason why I came back is because I fundamentally believe that for Africa to develop, we must embrace new technologies such as web3 that can fundamentally help us solve our pain points, inflation, currency devaluation, and sending money back and forth.” – Mouloukou Sanoh.
Although there are still many issues surrounding the scope of web3, Mouloukoh Sanoh says Web3 needs Africa and not the other way around.
Mouloukou Sanoh on Cassava network
Cassava Network, founded by Sanoh Moulokou, aims to bridge African users from Web2 to Web3. It is Africa’s Web3 platform focused on rewards, entertainment and arts. It has built a digital identity, a multi-chain wallet, a rewards platform and an NFT marketplace, onboarding over 400,000 users so far. Founded in 2021, Cassava Network is leading the way for crypto adoption in Africa with an expansive feature set on the way.
“The whole point is to aggregate the largest user base of African Web2 and Web3 users. So once we have aggregated that, not only do we become a bridge that connects Africans from Web2 to Web3, we become a bridge for African Web2 and Web3 users to move and access global Web3 companies.
And then, we also become a bridge from these global web3 companies into Africa. So that’s the value that we want to add to businesses.”
Blockchain in Africa
African blockchain startups raised hefty figures in the first half of 2022, but those numbers have dropped recently. As an investment manager at Adaverse, Mouloukou Sanoh says:
“It’s all markets. This is not just an issue for African startups, it is an issue for startups all over the world. So for us as investors, we don’t care about valuation. What we care about is startups that are actually building something that is adding value or that is solving pain points to everyday people. And we are very bullish on Africa.”
An advice Mouloukou Sanoh has for African entrepreneurs is to focus on their customers and solve pain points related to them to make their lives better. Also, he admonishes entrepreneurs to watch their burn rate and focus on revenue.
Africa is projected to be at the forefront of the blockchain revolution. It is being said that Africa will produce blockchain solutions that will solve African problems. But this projection still faces an impediment, which borders on a regulatory framework. There are regulatory conditions that are meant to stifle innovation on the continent.
On this, Mouloukou Sanoh says:
“I think we need to work with the regulators. So we need to stop looking at the regulators as our enemies and actually, look at them as friends. Because at the end of the day, we all have the same common goal: the development of the African continent and of African economies. But they have something extra in mind, which is protection.
I think we should work with regulators and work with them hand in creating rules that actually spur innovation and that dissuade bad actors. Because we have to be honest with ourselves. Given that we’re such a new industry, there have been some people that have taken advantage of it and that have scammed people. So it’s in everybody’s mutual interest that there are rules and regulations.”
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Mouloukou Sanoh feels Africa is the future. So many young, motivated individuals and great entrepreneurs are building solutions for Africa, so he’s extremely bullish.
There are, however, some challenges. Number one is education.
“Given that we are such a nascent industry, there are a lot of misconceptions about crypto and web3 which has led to stringent regulation. That’s why at Cassava Network, everything that we do, we have the consumer in mind and most of our posts on social media, on LinkedIn or all the articles that we publish on Medium, are all very educated articles. We’ve gone a step further where we have signed a partnership with Pan Atlantic University, and we’ll be giving blockchain courses and doing joint research with them.” – Mouloukou Sanoh.
Subsequently, Cassava Network would be releasing the third version of its product. Where partners will create tasks and users will get rewards.
“And then in the next iteration of that, by using our partners application. For example, you can go to Boomplay, listen to a song, and then earn rewards for that. So there are a lot of exciting things on our road map. And then we’re also going to be implementing a Dapp browser, where users can discover different web3 applications from around the world. What’s actually the most important is to continuously listen to our users, gather feedback and release products that they need and want.”
Watch out for Mouloukou Sanoh and Cassava Network.
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