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Aya: A New Vision For Blockchain Africa That Makes Web3 Easy

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African Blockchain Innovator Aya is creating a Web3 Ghana empire, deep-dive how Aya could emerge as West Africa's most exciting crypto project

African Blockchain Innovator Aya is creating a Web3 empire in Ghana, in this interview, deep-dive how Aya could emerge as West Africa’s most exciting crypto project as they steward a new generator of Web3 creators and builders.

Does Africa have an MIT or Stanford? Or even frequent coding boot camps and hackathons? No. But Africa has Aya, which is bringing Ghana and Africa into the Web3 fold.

Spearheaded by visionaries Eric Annan and Pishikeni Tukura, Aya believes Africa’s real treasure lies in its people’s talents.

This belief has shifted their focus toward empowering the continent through Blockchain education, aiming to unlock vast wealth.

“I speak with authority, Africa is going to be the next big consumer market,” Annan told us in an interview.

“Africa will have the largest impact of digital penetration; we will have the youngest workforce providing value to the Web3 scene. This is why I built Aya.”

 

A report by Korn Ferry warns of a potential $8.5 trillion talent shortage by 2030. Annan, who was born and raised in Ghana, argues that the challenge isn’t job displacement by technology but rather the lack of skilled individuals to fill emerging roles.

He advocates for capacity-building and educational programs to prepare a workforce adept in African Blockchain and digital technologies.

“I told myself I lost out on the internet era, on what we have around us today. I lost out on the e-commerce era. Now we have digital currencies, the future of money, I’m never going to lose out again.”

Why Africa is Becoming a Global Startup Powerhouse

Launched on October 5th, 2020, Aya became a movement to tackle challenges in the Web 3 space with the help of its flagship programs, AyaVersity and AyaLabs.

AyaVersity focuses on equipping individuals with critical design, management, and development skills, while AyaLabs provides startups with the environment to turn innovative ideas into reality.

Annan’s first introduction to crypto was through a now infamous scam called “One Coin.”

Despite being discouraged after this experience, he later recognized the potential of cryptocurrency after living in Nigeria when the government banned dollar deposits and withdrawals. This executive order killed his business – but cryptocurrency offered a new avenue.

He also discovered the book “The 7th Disruption: The Rise of the Digital Currency Billionaire,” by Thomas McMurrain which helped him realize the vast potential within the African blockchain industry.

“Blockchain was the first time I saw a technology that enabled me to use global financial tools effortlessly without thinking about how to do it. Blockchain and cryptocurrency provided that. This is why I knew I had to bring Africa into this space to provide for the world.”

As Eric describes it, Aya’s mission is simple: democratizing assets to Web3, enabling African talent to launch global projects and companies from Africa to the world.

And, the impact of Aya’s work is undeniable. From training over 220 students across four countries via the Aya Fellowship to launching the pan-African event Ayathon, Aya is showing the world how upskill education is done.

With partnerships with giants like Consensys and Coinbase Giving, as well as accolades from the Ghana Fintech & Payment Association, Aya’s achievements are a testament to its influential role in the tech ecosystem and African blockchain industry.

The Future for Aya, Africa Blockchain and Ghana Empire

We all know what it’s like to ‘make it out.’ You escape from your hometown and move to the big city, and soon enough, you’re sipping espresso martinis and blogging about Austrian economics.

In Africa, Eric describes ‘making it out’ as very rare unless you are relentlessly curious and know what you want young.

“If you have 100 graduates in Ghana, you have 1.5% access to jobs. In Africa, less than 3% of graduates get jobs. The rest need to stay home for a number of years. I was an outlier because I knew what I wanted to do very young.”

Aya is becoming that way for thousands of young Africans to make it out claims Eric.

Eric sees Blockchain as a key player in enhancing financial inclusion, reducing remittance costs, and improving access to financial services through government policies and initiatives.

He emphasizes the need for training tailored to regulators, legal professionals, and entrepreneurs to nurture a skilled workforce in this sector.

Aya stands at the heart of this, ready to steer the ship through uncharted waters with a blend of grace and revolution.

“Blockchain unlocked for me a movement: you do not need to wait for your government; the resources are here for you,” Annan emphasized.

“Stay in Africa, stay in Ghana and Kenya, and foster that skill. I believe that African young people will become the biggest supporters of their knowledge and skills. I strongly believe in staying where you are, nurturing your skill, and supporting your community and family.”

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Disclaimer: Crypto is a high-risk asset class. This article is provided for informational purposes and does not constitute investment advice. You could lose all of your capital.

Isaiah McCall is an ultramarathon runner and journalist for 99Bitcoins.

View all Posts by Isaiah Mccall

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