The CEO of Binance has announced that the exchange is partnering with Crypto Savanna, a Ugandan blockchain startup, to aid in the economic development of the East African country, according to a Twitter post.
Binance and Uganda
Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by market capitalization, has plans to help bolster Uganda’s economy and create thousands of jobs for young people. Changpeng Zhao, the founder and CEO of Binance, is currently in the country where he is working with the local blockchain community to explore opportunities for collaboration, including an open meeting held with the Blockchain Association of Uganda (BAU).
As per the Tweet, Zhao says his company is working on plans to ‘support Uganda’s economic transformation and youth employment through blockchain, embracing the 4th industrial revolution.’ The exchange says the partnership ‘will do this by creating thousands of jobs and bringing investments to Uganda.’
Zhao’s meeting with the BAU comes as a lead up to their Africa conference which is set for late May. The partnership also features prominent innovative figures in African development, including Aggie Konde, CEO of Msingi East Africa, and Helen Hai, CEO of the Made in Africa Initiative. Binance will be working with the organizations to explore blockchain options:
“Binance is tailor-making partnerships according to the environment,” the BAU quoted him as saying. “We want to understand the landscape and grow our understanding of the market.”
Binance is currently the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, with 24-hour trading volumes of almost $2.5 billion according to CoinMarketCap. Originally based in China, the exchange was forced out due to the country’s cryptocurrency regulation. It now has offices in Hong Kong and Japan, and is planning to open another in Malta.
The Blockchain Association of Uganda is a non-profit advocacy group. Its aims are to promote blockchain-based technologies in the country, organize events, support blockchain projects, and represent the country on an international level.
Cryptocurrencies and Uganda
Despite the fact that Uganda is rich in natural resources like coffee, tobacco, sugar, metals, and oil, it is one of the poorest countries in the world. As citizens look outside the landlocked country — home to 42 million people — for work, Uganda has become home to one of the largest remittance markets in the world: in 2016, Ugandans sent more than $1 billion home, as per recent figures from World Bank data.
Large numbers of people across many regions of Africa do not have access to banks, and more than 30 million Africans work abroad and send money home. Because of this, blockchain-based technologies that allow people to connect with alternative financial options are likely to find mass adoption in the continent if properly implemented. Also, because of blockchain’s decentralized nature, it can be used to prevent fraud and corruption — something many African economies and governments have struggled with in the past.