Why African Startups Should Tokenize To break the White Man’s Curse

In Africa, there is a long-running feud between white expatriates and ex-Ivy League founders on the one hand, and grassroots-bred Black local founders on the other.

In Africa, there is a long-running feud between white expatriates and ex-Ivy League founders on the one hand, and grassroots-bred Black local founders on the other. At stake is who has bragging rights to Africa’s hot, rising startup narrative.

Locals from East Africa and Nigeria accuse “wazungus,” or outsiders, of perpetuating racially biased venture capital funding cycles, muddying the funding landscape for the real African founders.

With close to $5 billion invested since 2014, mostly from Asian, European and U.S. investment banks, venture capital firms, development agencies and limited partnerships, allocations in key African markets are causing disharmony.

In Kenya, the divide involves local and white expatriates, while in Nigeria the tension is between local founders and Nigerians schooled abroad.

It’s time for a radical solution rooted in the technology we want to develop.

I propose tokenizing African startup debt and equity on a blockchain, under a clear consumer framework, as a way to break the white man’s curse.

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