ICT CS Joe Mucheru The Only African at Blockchain Summit in Morocco

  • By Martin Siele on Tuesday, 10 July 2018 - 7:01pm
    odd one out
    Education CS Fred Matiang’i (R) with ICT CS Joe Mucheru and TSC CEO Nancy Macharia arrive at Nairobi School on December 20, 2017 Courtesy
  • Information Communication Technology (ICT) Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru is the only African at this year's Blockchain Summit currently ongoing in Marrakesh, Morocco hosted by billionaire Richard Branson.

    This year's event was moved to Morocco after Hurricane Irma destroyed Branson's personal Necker Island which has hosted the summit in years past.

    The summit has previously been criticized for its perceived elitist nature, and the move to change the venue to Morocco was seen by commentators as an attempt to give the summit greater meaning.

    This year's edition, the fourth summit ever held, focused on building blockchain in Africa.

    Speaking to Forbes, Mucheru highlighted the need to encourage and incentivize innovation around blockchain in Kenya and Africa at large.

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    Mucheru noted that companies from the West were acquiring African startups at low prices yet they would have paid much larger sums for the same technology had it come from elsewhere.

    In addition, he noted that it was vital to empower more young African coders to write blockchain code so as to preserve their culture.

    As an example, he noted that Microsoft only recognized two African languages, Swahili and Afrikaans, of the thousands spoken on the continent while it also featured as many dialects of Klingon, a langage invented for the Star Strek series.

    “They’re not required by law that they have to do anything for Africa, so it’s not that it’s their fault.

    “But if we don’t do something about it then we’re going to be completely left behind,” he stated.

    Earlier this year, the government had announced the formation of a Blockchain Taskforce led by former Permanent Secretary Bitange Ndemo as it sought to find ways to solve pressing challenges using the technology.

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