Africa Blockchain Series features Mr. Terence Zimwara, co-founder of AfricaBlockchainMedia.com
Hello Mr. Terence, can you introduce yourself?
Response: My name is Terence Zimwara, I am an author, journalist and I consider myself to be advocate for a fair society. I am quite passionate about things that give ordinary folks hope. And as you may have guessed, I am indeed pro blockchain and decentralized money.
What is Africa Blockchain Media and what products and services do you offer?
Response: AfricaBlockchainMedia.com is a brainchild of Jonathan Fennell and myself. Our objective with this project is to raise awareness about fintech and blockchain technology. We do this by interviewing key players, writing educational pieces as well as helping adoption efforts. The site itself is loaded with information that is useful to those new to this space.
Also, I recently became a member of the Algorand Blockchain ecosystem as an Ambassador. Part of my job will be to organize meetings where we discuss the blockchain technology and some of the practical use cases. The Covid-19 has had an impact on how I operate so at the moment I am limited to writing articles.
What are the two major problems blockchain technology can provide solutions to in Africa using Zimbabwe as a case study?
Response: Well, that’s a good question. We are currently seeing a fight between the central bank and a mobile money company over KYCs issues, which the latter is reluctant to do properly. The central bank is complaining that money launderers are using mobile money platforms to facilitate the movement of funds. It turns out this is another area where the blockchain can provide real a solution.
The second one is cross border remittances. Bitcoin is proving to be an efficient and cost-effective alternative for those in the know. I recently had to conduct short lessons via Whatsapp where I explained this aspect of decentralised cryptocurrencies to Zimbabweans living in South Africa. As you know, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are much cheaper than regular money transfer organisations like Western Union or Mukuru.com which most Zimbabweans use. It costs 10% plus to send money across the border from South Africa to Zimbabwe. So obviously people get interested when they know that there are alternatives which charge 1% or less.
What are your final thoughts on the past, present and future of blockchain technology in Africa?
Response: Blockchain is real although it may have been viewed differently in the past. In the past scammers have used the excitement around this technology to dupe people. However, now there is a growing appreciation—including by the central bank—that this technology is the future. More companies and individuals are harnessing this technology and some young people are even choosing this as a career. So the future is looking good although a lot more still needs to be done if the dream of a faster adoption is to be realized.