Highlights from Africa Blockchain Conference 2018
Attendance of 800 delegates, over 50 speakers and panelists, 2 days of rich discussions and over 100 pitch competition entries.
Highlights from Africa Blockchain Conference 2018
Over 50 speakers & panelists
With keynotes speakers and thought leaders from across the globe; through panel discussions and breakout sessions, attendees were able learn from their experiences in implementation, regulation and academia.
Highlights from Africa Blockchain Conference 2018
President of Uganda H.E. Yoweri Museveni encouraged the adoption of blockchain and the emerging technologies more especially as they apply to solving the practical problems in Africa.
Highlights from Africa Blockchain Conference 2018
Over 100 Pitch Competition Entries
With over $10,000 in prize money at stake and over 100 pitch competition entries, entrepreneurs from across the continent got to showcase their unique blockchain based solutions before a panel of international investors.
President Museveni backs blockchain
In his remarks the President of Uganda, H.E. Yoweri Museveni encouraged the adoption of blockchain and the emerging technologies more especially as they apply to solving the practical problems in Africa.
Progress since Africa Blockchain Conference 2018
A National Taskforce on The 4th Industrial Revolution
Blockchain Working Group set up at Bank of Uganda
A draft regulatory framework for Crypto Assests
Sandboxes set up in different regulatory bodies
Launch of the Binance Uganda Exchange
Several blockchain meetups and trainings in Kampala
2018 Speakers & Panelists
Evelyn Namara is a Ugandan technology entrepreneur with a keen interest in the power the Internet and ICTs have in changing lives, enabling innovation and entrepreneurship to foster long-term development.
She founded Vouch Digital, a technology start-up building a verified voucher system that helps eliminate fraud and corruption in the distribution of aid for both governments and international aid organizations.
Currently, she is the Global Community Engagement Manager for the Internet Society where she works on defining, managing and coordinating community engagement and mobilization activities across departments to support the Organizational objectives.
Former Mauritian President, biodiversity scientist who served as the 6th President of Mauritius from 2015 to 2018. She was the first woman elected as president of the country and the third woman to have served as Head of State.
She was also awarded the Order of the ‘Chevalier de l’Ordre des Palmes Academiques’ by the Government of France in 2009. Upon becoming President, she was automatically elevated to the highest award of Grand Commander of the Star and Key of the Indian Ocean (GSCK).
Changpeng Zhao, who goes by CZ, is founder and CEO of Binance, a cryptocurrency exchange that became the largest on the planet in just under 180 days. Binance can process a blazing 1.4 million transactions a second an on a peak day in early 2018 processed 3.5 billion new orders, cancels and trades. Binance is minting money, with $200 million in profits in the last quarter of 2017. CZ owns a large chunk of the company, making him a billionaire.
After studying computer science at Montreal’s McGill University, Zhao spent time in both Tokyo and New York, first building a system for matching trade orders on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and them, at Bloomberg’s Trade book where he developed software for futures trading.
Euvin Naidoo has joined Thomson Reuters (TR) as the Head of Financial Institutions- Africa. He is responsible for driving the growth and retention plan for TR Africa, covering financial services institutions, central banks and major accounts within Finance and Risk cross 47 African countries. Euvin leads the team based out of TR Africa’s Head Office in Johannesburg, South Africa, supporting the business across West, East and Southern Africa with team members on the ground in Nigeria, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Mauritius and South Africa. Selected by Forbes.com as one of the African continent’s Top 10 most ‘Powerful and Influential Men’ of his generation, Euvin has been engaged as an executive within financial services in both the USA and Africa for the past 15 years. Prior to joining TR, Euvin was part of the African leadership team at the Boston Consulting Group, joining as the first South African Partner and Managing Director based out of the Johannesburg office, where he led the Africa Financial Institutions (Banking, Risk and Insurance) and Public Sector (DFIs, Treasury and Central Banks) Practices. In May 2017, he was part of the BCG team that led the release of a global report on financial inclusion, with a special focus on Africa. Selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum (WEF), he was recruited to the Forum’s Global Agenda Councils, where he served 2 terms on the United States Council. He is a current member of the WEF’s Global Expert Network. In February 2017, Euvin was honored in Boston by receiving the Harvard Business School Africa Business Club Leadership Excellence Award. Columbia University’s Journal of International Affairs, in recognition of his work, and impact across Africa, has previously named Euvin as one of the ‘Five Faces of African Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Associate professor at the University of Nairobi’s Business School and a former permanent secretary in the Ministry of Information and Communications, an ICT Champion, Academician, and a Newspaper Columnists with the Kenyan Newspapers Daily Nation and Business Daily.
Llew Claasen is the Executive Director of the Bitcoin Foundation, the largest and oldest Bitcoin advocacy organisation globally, incorporated in Washington, DC.
The Bitcoin Foundation coordinates the efforts of the members of the Bitcoin community, helping to create awareness of the benefits of Bitcoin, how to use it and its related technology requirements, for technologists, regulators, the media and everyone else globally.
Dorothy Okello is a Ugandan technologist and engineer, known for her work in the Women of Uganda Network. She was the first woman to attain a First class degree in Electrical Engineering from Makerere University in Kampala and to be the president of the Uganda Institute of Professional Engineers Association.
Elizabeth is the CEO and founder of BitPesa, a digital foreign exchange and payment platform for frontier markets. Founded in 2013, BitPesa was the first company to leverage digital currency to significantly lower the cost of making remittance and business payments to and from sub-Saharan Africa, as well as the first blockchain company to be licensed by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority. BitPesa is now a market-maker in every major African currency and facilitates payments into G20 currencies directly. Elizabeth expanded the company from Nairobi, Kenya to operations in 8 markets across Africa and Europe. Before founding BitPesa, Elizabeth was a rating analyst for microfinance institutions across sub-Saharan Africa, consulting for Grameen Foundation, Gates Foundation and the Acumen Fund, as well as working with regulators and policy-makers on legislation for financial innovations. Elizabeth sits on the Investment Committee for Bamboo Capital and the World Economic Forum’s Future Council on Blockchain. She holds an M.A. in International Business and Finance from Columbia University.
Theodore T. Miller Career Development Professor at MIT, and Associate Professor of Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Strategic Management, MIT Sloan School of Management. Christian’s main areas of interest are the economics of digitization, entrepreneurship, and science. His research focuses on blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, the economics of equity crowdfunding and startup growth, and the economics of scientific collaboration. Christian is one of the principal investigators of the MIT Digital Currencies Research Study, which gave access to all MIT undergraduate students to Bitcoin in the Fall of 2014.
Crypto Valley Association
Founder and CEO of Iprotus and inventor of its core technology. He is the founder and leader of TokenBooster as well as the Co-founder of Crypto Valley Association. He is also the Blockchain and Distributed Ledger thought leader and global scale advisor and speaker.
Jitesh Shetty is a product entrepreneur with more than 15 years of professional experience. He is the Founder of Qwiklabs Inc. which was acquired by Google in Nov 2016. He is also an active angel investor in both the US and India. Before Qwiklabs he co-founded Arbyl LLC and FITS LLC both in the greater Chicago area. He was an early team member at Dhingana Inc. where he worked very closely with the founders from 2005-2007. Earlier in his career he has worked in engineering leadership roles at Yahoo Inc., Sonian Inc. and Symantec.
Jitesh has a graduate degree in computer science from the University of Southern California where he did extensive research in the graph and text mining area and was one of the early researchers to use the Enron email dataset for academic research.
Currently, Jitesh is the Google Cloud Learning Technologies at Google: working on making it extremely easy for anyone in the world to learn Google cloud services hands-on.
He is the Founder of BitHub Africa a Blockchain Accelerator providing Consultancy and Incubation services for individuals and firms interested in Bitcoin and Blockchain Technology. I am also a Director at Space Kenya Networks Ltd which is a company I co-founded in 2008 that provides work space for businesses and startups operating in Nairobi.
He also holds 9 years’ experience in the management of web solution development both for small enterprises and larger organizations. I have also been involved in a number of projects that involve the analysis of the social impact of ICT in Africa as well as projecting possible growth areas of ICT based solutions for the continent. In this regard we have been awarded the Vision2030 ICT Award 2011 for Innovation in Youth and Gender Sector by the Kenyan Government for our Whive SMS product.
Capital Markets Authority
Shortly after completing an MBA degree at the University of Cape Town, he joined the Privatization & Utility Sector Reform Project in the Ministry of Finance of Uganda, as Head of the Parastatal Monitoring Unit. During the four-year assignment, he was responsible for debt restructuring and performance management of Public Enterprises.
He worked for Shell for ten years and spent the first five years in Shell Uganda where he was responsible for reorganizing the commercial & aviation fuel departments. He is also a qualified Chartered Secretary and Financial Administrators (ICSA). I have participated in a number of Project Finance and Infrastructure concession management courses and seminars.
AirTM connects banking and e-money networks all over the world via its technology platform and P2P network, enabling P2P correspondent banking and remittance. AirTM is Uphold’s most successful app by users and transaction volume, generating over half of Uphold’s new users.
Financial Markets Development
Mr. Rutega holds an MPA Degree from Harvard University and an MBA from Brigham Young University, USA. He is the former Chief Executive of the Uganda Securities Exchange Ltd which he helped establish in 1998. He has extensive experience in financial markets and serves on the board of a number of companies.
Mr. Simon B. Rutega served as the Chief Executive Officer of Uganda Securities Exchange Limited. Mr. Rutega serves as a Director of Central Depository & Settlement Corporation Limited and Housing Finance Bank Limited. He served as Member of Governing Council at Uganda Securities Exchange Limited. He serves as the Chairman of Uganda Financial Market Development Committee. Mr. Rutega holds a BSc degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting and an MBA degree in Finance from Brigham Young University in the United States.
Uganda Bankers Association
Ministry of Finance
Bank of Uganda
Sinclair Matthew Skinner is an African American engineer, human rights activist, political adviser, serial entrepreneur and former elected official in Washington, D.C. Hs is a Bitcoin and blockchain technology evangelist and an advocate of the advance emend of African communities in relation to the African Diaspora. He holds a B.S. degree in Mechanical engineering from Howard University and is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. Skinner was first elected to public coffice in 1998 as an Advisory Neighborhood Commisionner in Washington, D.C.’s Ward 1 Neighborhood.
He is currently the co-founder and CEO of Pan African Bitcoin startup Bitmari, a remittance platform that allows people to send money to Zimbabwe from anywhere in the world using Bitcoin. We are the only Bitcoin company in the world to receive a money transfer license from the central bank of Zimbabwe and have a strategic partnership with Agribank to perform remittances for their customers using Bitcoin.
Dr. Wayne Wang has been Executive Vice President and General Manager of China Technology Global Corporation since December 2004. He is in charge of software development, E-Commerce and China Technology Global Corporation’s overall business operations. He has more than 15 years of experience in the software development industry and received his Ph.D. degrees in Industrial Engineering and Management from Hong Kong Technology University and Central China University.
He Specializes in in-depth understanding to the media landscape of China and profound working experience in IT industry, comprehensive, deep media relations across China, and is experienced in issue/crisis management
Leonardo is the CEO of Agora, a Switzerland based voting technology company, is the company responsible for the development of the blockchain solution
Mr. Kaboyo is currently, Managing Director Alpha Capital Partners, an indigenous Ugandan firm focusing on sovereign asset management, foreign exchange trading strategies and financial markets advisory. Before joining Alpha Capital Partners, Mr. Kaboyo was the Director Financial Markets at Bank of Uganda.
He commands a wealth of experience spanning over 20 years in Financial Markets. Trained in the US, he is a graduate of McPherson College, McPherson Kansas. He has also undergone extensive professional training and holds a number of certificates from prestigious institutions such as Georgetown Business School, York University Business School, The World Bank Institute, The IMF Institute, Financial Services Authority UK, US Securities and Exchange Commission among others.
Swiss-Canadian blockchain & crypto lawyer working in international corporate tax planning advising blockchain companies on selecting crypto-friendly jurisdictions for their operations and ICOs. Collaborating with governments to create blockchain-positive regulatory and tax frameworks, and pro-crypto business environments.
Swiss Impulse Group
Mr. Urs holds a Master in Physics earned his Ph.D. at ETH (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) and started his career as a Management Consultant. He became a passionate entrepreneur when co-founding one of Europe’s first VoIP service providers in 1998.
With 20 years of new business, operational and market development experience as strategic executive, entrepreneur, innovator and investor in Digital Media, Telecommunications, Commerce and Entertainment, he specializes in developing or supporting companies to rapidly scale up globally.
Elizabeth Nyeko is a co-founder of Mandulis, a cleantech that deploys new technologies and approaches, to ensure that people have access to electricity that is affordable, reliable and sustainable. Mandulis is backed by AfDB and KfW among others, and has developed the largest grid-tied biomass gasification project in Africa, and most recently, Modularity, a digital platform that leverages AI and blockchain for electricity distribution. In 2016, Elizabeth was recognised by the World Economic Forum as one of the “Top 10 Female Innovators in Africa”. She is also engaged in research at Imperial College London, at the Centre for Climate Finance and Investment.
Marvin Coleby is a venture lawyer and founder of Raise, a blockchain company building the first tokenized impact exchange to democratize private investments in emerging market companies. Marvin is an advocate for blockchain’s potential in emerging markets with a focus on Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. He co-founded a blockchain venture studio that led research and development initiatives for blockchain innovation throughout emerging markets in real estate, capital markets and governance. Prior to these roles, Marvin worked as a lawyer for the Venture Technology and Emerging Growth Companies group of Dentons, the largest international law firm in the world. Marvin previously worked at the United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organization, consults governments on innovation strategies and is an advocate for blockchain’s potential to create social impact
Nuco Global Inc
Roland Haggins is the CARICOM Director and Country Manager for Nuco Global Inc, the developers of the Aion network protocol. He has taken his fifteen plus years of global financial industry experience into the dynamic environment of decentralized blockchain based digital tokens and virtual commodities. Roland has been invited to speak at the annual International Monetary Fund meetings, United Nations International Telecommunications Union and he is a member of the Financial Inclusion Global Initiative Focus Group. Roland was recently appointed to serve in the prestigious role of Sentinel Chain Ambassador for the Caribbean.
Roland is a leading cryptocurrency analyst, Roland also has expertise in strategic management, business development, operations, technology innovation and the global regulatory environment . He has also used his knowledge of the financial system to develop, coordinate and lecture banking and finance courses for the University of the West Indies.
Dalberg Data Insights
Rositsa is an Associate Partner at Dalberg Data Insights where she leads the execution of DDI projects and the management of a complex ecosystem of end users, donors, data providers and regulators. Her work focuses on public health, access to finance, food security and mobility. Rositsa has recently worked with USAID, the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), the Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL) and has led the development of analytics tools that support governments and development actors across East Africa, Brazil and Bangladesh.
CTO of Cedkoin, the financial technology company developing mobile and web platforms based on blockchains, and data science for remittance, Forex exchange, payments and a market place for lending (non-deposit taking).
The product features include predicting customers’ needs, permissions management, native asset support, simple configuration and deployment, and backwards compatibility with the original blockchain. As a technology enthusiast he sees DLT, blockchain and data science as a fundamental advance in what can be achieved with databases, networks and Internet of things. As an entrepreneur I see many opportunities for new products and business models.
Kirunda & Wasige Advocates
Robert Kirunda holds a Masters in Law (LL.M) International Legal Studies Program (ILSP) from the American University Washington College of Law, a Masters in Law (LL.M) in international Trade and Investment Law from University of the Western Cape, South Africa, a Post graduate in Legal Practice(Bar Course), Bachelors of Laws . Robert is the founding partner at Kirunda & Wasike Advocates where he works since December 2012.
He lectures at Makerere University Kampala and has worked with JN Kirkland and Associates (Law firm), Makerere University Business School department of law and Shonubi, Musoke & Co. Advocates. He served in a capacity of a Legal Vice presidency, World Bank Group Washington D.C Intern from January to April 2008. Robert is also a member of the following professional bodies- Uganda Law Society, East African Law Society, Uganda Christian Lawyers Fraternity and has authored several publications.
Eversend & remit.ug
Alakanani is passionate at decentralization, which Botswana-based Satoshicentre is home to. They aim to one day empower blockchain startups around Africa and currently work with 3 developers to try bring the understanding of bitcoin and the blockchain technology and thereby getting the developers in Botswana involved in this technology by working to bring solutions to the problems that are faced by Africans in everyday life.
Mrs Alakanani is also a well-known bitcoin evangelist who since 2013 has been involved in teaching people in her country about bitcoin and blockchain and has spoken about bitcoin and blockchain in various bitcoin conference from Bitcoin2014 Amsterdam, Africa bitcoin conference in South Africa to blockchain summit in Abidjan.
Olaoluwa Samuel-Biyi is a Co-Founder of SureGifts, the pioneering gift card retailer and technology provider in Nigeria. Launched in 2014, SureGifts powers the gift card program of many of the biggest offline and offline retail brands in Nigeria (including SPAR/Park ‘n’ Shop, Jumia and Dealdey), providing them with a powerful channel for boosting revenue.
Olaoluwa joined the founding team of Jumia in 2012 to work on business intelligence and commercial planning, before leaving to build SureGifts. He also consults on investment and financial strategy for Venture Garden Group. He studied Accounting and Finance at the University of the West Indies, Barbados.
Lary wants to be on the forefront of technology and social progress. It is never easy for a new technology to cross the mass adoption threshold, but I want to be a person that not only creates and designs new technology, I also want to be one of the people who help bring new tech to the world.
Bitland Global is an organization that digitizes land titles using the blockchain technology as a backbone. The larger goal is to have all the transactions recorded onto a distributed ledger using block-chain technology. The company is a non-profit organization that is working to keep the land registration process accessible, transparent, and free from government corruption. The Bitland team serves as the liaisons between the people needing to register land titles, and the officials that currently hold the access to the physical databases.
Nhial is the brains behind Pesabase. Before founding Pesabase, he spent the best part of his career at IBM Australia, where he held diverse senior IT leadership positions. He’s always been active within the crypto community, and was one of the founding members of the Melbourne Bitcoin Meet-up formed in 2013.
Pesabase is the leading low cost remittance, payments and banking platform enabling financial inclusion in Africa. They provide 4 key services to lowest cost, next minute cross border and international remittances via their trusted agent network.
Global Trade Solutions
As the founder and driving force behind, eTradex, the consulting services and software development company which she founded in 1999, Louise and her team have been providing leading edge and innovative technology and services solutions to the international trade and supply chain environment over the past 15 years.
Louise has more than 25 years’ experience in the international trade environment. Prior to founding eTradex in 1999, she had worked at major manufacturing and export organizations in South Africa and performed extensive consulting and international trade enablement throughout the Southern Africa region. Louise is passionate about the environment and wildlife and has travelled extensively throughout the African continent to experience the unique wilderness experience that is still on offer in Africa.
Harvard Kennedy School of Government
Michael Kimani is one of the pioneers of blockchain and cryptocurrencies in Kenya and East Africa. He is the Vice President of ChamaPesa- a blockchain powered mobile app for social savings groups in Africa. Michael works on user research to inform the product and get it to market for real world use cases. ChamaPesa is restoring balance to financial inclusion success story in Kenya by digitizing the financial records of Chamas and table banking groups and giving the users ultimate privacy of their data. This user centric approach to financial inclusion opens up communities of people in the informal sector – women in trade, boda boda service providers, farmers and young people – to the rest of the world through the blockchain.
Stanbic Bank Uganda
Her specialties include international business development for private equity professionals, women in private equity, women in philanthropy, high-growth women entrepreneurs, Angel Networks/Angel Capital, crowd-funding, blockchain, and cryptocurrency initiatives focused on women.
IBM Research – Africa
Nelson K Bore is a Software Engineer at IBM Research – Africa in the Cognitive Blockchain Services group.
Nelson received his B. Sc. Software Engineering degree from University of Easter Africa, Baraton (Kenya) and M. Sc. Mobile Telecommunications Innovation and development from Strathmore University (Kenya). He is currently pursuing M.Sc. degree in Computer science from Georgia Tech Institute of Technology.