What comes to mind when you think about ‘charity’? For many probably Africa. We have all seen the ads and the infamous ‘poverty porn’. Send a dollar! Buy a pair of shoes and we donate one to Africa! (Shoes are the least of their problems)
Doesn’t sound so bad until you realize that a large portion of the money (anywhere from 10 to 30%+) goes to organizational costs. The CEO of UNICEF earns more than half a million annually and there is a lot of extortion going on. Oh boy.
A better solution: investing into Africa. Even though Africa hosts 17% of the world’s population, it is considered a major record when the entire continent together raises one single billion USD in funding as opposed to a NATION raising hundreds of billions elsewhere.
Why? And why is Africa in a generally bad state anyways? Why aren’t things improving?
The short answer: they are, but Africa is managed poorly.
But enough of the bad news, let’s look at how things can be different by asking the following question:
Why is Africa, “the sun continent” relying on fossil energy? The answer is: the ongoing energy crisis.
Currently, only 40% of Nigeria’s population is connected to the energy grid, and even those are only functioning roughly half of the time! So what else can people do then to turn to somewhat affordable Generators? Expensive and toxic for the environment, but it works. Why not use solar panels instead? Because they are so much more expensive to acquire and install.
That’s the problem innovative Blockchain startups like OneWattSolar (OWS) solve.
Instead of buying the entire apparatus, transporting it, getting it to run and maintaining it, you buy tokens and the company handles the rest.
Here, the tokens function like a prepaid card, but for electricity. It’s cheaper, it’s greener, and people don’t have to shoulder risks. Instead of giving to charity where you often don’t know where your money truly ends up, with bureaucracy and organizational costs and CEOs earning millions, why not a small investment into something tangible? And it works.
In the Blockchain space, a lot of corporations are trying to raise funds and develop a product later (if at all). Here, the reverse happens. There is a MVP, there is a team that knows what they are doing, and there is revenue. Products are up and being distributed. A 180 degree turn.
The usual infographics promising investment returns and what not change into actual metrics and it’s quite refreshing.
It makes sense. Paying a lot of money for tech equipment upfront in a developing country is hard, but when maintenance is cheap and the return strong it’s a solid investment -n if one can afford it. And solar panels are virtually nowhere stronger than in Africa.
The next time you think about about investing into a Blockchain project or giving money to charity, why not take a look at promising startups such as this one? The fact that there is an actual product alone is a big selling point and the market is grossly underestimated.
No wonder, you don’t learn how to market things online when you grow up in a city with literally no electricity while barely surviving. The passion people behind such initiatives have is real.
In the majority of places around the world you can work some McDonalds job, save up and start things. But this is different. A $100 Dollars here go very very far. Literally half of the monthly wage of many.