This article is part of an ongoing series called Across Africa with Bitcoin, detailing the writer’s current journey in exploring financial inclusion through Bitcoin in multiple countries across Africa.
It is on record that there are a few Blockchain Devs in Africa, and most of them are being poached by other continents with attractive offers. In Harare, Zimbabwe, I had the opportunity to speak to two Devs over their views on the nature of their work and its future in Africa.
Confidence Nyirenda and Yeukayi Kusangaya work with a Blockchain firm as a Software Engineers in Harare. I engaged them on the sidelines of the ongoing Digital Future 2017 Conference.
For Confidence, being a Blockchain Dev is very challenging and a busy life. “You always have something to learn, adapt to new technologies and keep up with the system”, he noted.
However, Yeukayi believes it is interesting to be an African Blockchain Dev. In fact, she maintains since Africa is a bit behind in technology, you are always motivated to work harder in order to be in line with other continents.
But as a female, in a male dominated field, she revealed it hasn’t been tough for her at all. “It has been quite a good experience for me, and my colleagues have been very supportive”, Yeukayi confided in me.
Africa is plagued with its best brains leaving the continent in pursuit of better opportunities elsewhere in the world. When I asked these two young African Devs whether they have any intentions of leaving, their responses were heartwarming.
Confidence actually thinks the future is in Africa and that leaving for the developed world is just like going to repeat what has already been done. He is positive staying in Africa is an opportunity to try new things and solve many problems and for that matter, he doesn’t see himself leaving. When he told me he is patriotic, I countered by saying you can’t eat patriotism, and he laughed hysterically.
Yeukayi completely agrees with her compatriot, and had this to say:
“Yes, I agree with him. I believe there are so many opportunities and closed doors that need to be opened in Africa, and if we go who is going to open those doors. If you have to go overseas, then it’s to acquire knowledge and bring it back”.
Again, both of them acknowledged that as Devs, you can work from anywhere in the world, and you necessarily don’t have to move. “Moreover the internet infrastructure in Africa is improving day-in-day-out”, Confidence said.
Honestly, travelling through the African continent, there are a few young people who hold Confidence and Yeukayi’s views. I hope they will be an inspiration to many young people in this rising giant continent.
On the future of Blockchain Dev, the two are cocksure with the ongoing growing pace of the Fintech sector more Africans will get involved and the current situation of Africa having a few Blockchain Devs will be a thing of the past. Confidence said gradually people are getting to know Bitcoin even though it is a bit difficult for some of them to grasp but with time things will improve.
“The more people learn about it, the more they get interested and makes life easier especially in Zimbabwe where we have money crisis”, Yeukayi added.
To her, the comfort and lower cost of using Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies will attract more people to the sector, and many of them will end up in the technical sector as well. She disagrees Blockchain development is a difficult field many Africans will not excel there. However, she believes it’s about dedication and practice.
she advised her female colleagues in Africa, who wants to go into Blockchain Software development that being a woman does not matter, and they should not expect things to be handed to them “All you’ve to do is to work hard and don’t feel threatened it is men dominated field”, she expressed.
The political and economic situation in Africa has improved over the years but it is still not the best. When I asked the two whether they are perturbed about the situation their answers were very exciting to me. They think Bitcoin can save the political and economic situation sooner than later.
“With Bitcoin, the political control will be limited to the barest minimum, and if you relate to Bitcoin, it’s a currency no one can control”, Confidence submitted. “For so long governments have used money to control us”.
On the other hand, Yeukayi is very sure it is going to improve cross-border trade in Africa and lead to prosperity.
I am now in Bulawayo, the city of kings and will be sending more updates. Kindly support the Across Africa With Bitcoin journey with some Satoshis: 1GwJeYtxkd6ZMbE82bYLQoHRR59g2zg2uB.
Featured image from Shutterstock.