The UNICCON Group of Companies has launched its first blockchain technology ‘SmartAfri Labs’, to drive the inclusion of Africans and adopt a specialised technology in the region.
The launch was held at Uniccon’s Headquarters in Abuja.
SmartAfri Labs is the brain-child of Uniccon Group of Companies; founded in 2018 and developed under the STEM arm of the organisation.
Chairman of UNICCON Group, Dr Chuks Ekwueme, shared insightful statistics to illustrate the poor inclusion and adoption of the blockchain ecosystem in Africa.
According to him, Africa has less than a 5 per cent stake in the projected $1.1 trillion the industry promises.
“We have created technology and platforms to drive inclusion by up to 25 per cent by the year 2025. Our Virtual Reality (VR) headsets for example are more affordable, and will not exclude poor Africans from using the technology. This is inclusion.”
Ekwueme said that blockchain should not be viewed as crypto, adding that the notion should be vacated.
“It is erroneous to view blockchain technology as being crypto. It is much more than that, and that notion should be vacated. We have built this platform, which is a fusion of Web 2.0 and 3.0 and we are keen on being key participants in the 4th Idustrial Revolution (4G). There is a huge market in our Non-Fungible Token (NFT) marketplace as Nigerians and Africans from the creative and other industries can tap into it to generate wealth and add to the GDP,” he said.
The General Manager of Uniccon, Kehinde Ake, said that SmartAfri Labs offered exceptional levels of security, transparency, and efficiency.
Ake said that the blockchain would grant users the ability to transfer assets, save data, and carry out smart contracts in a decentralised and fraud-proof network.
“We have created this technology to allow Africans to stand tall, raise their heads, spread their shoulders, and take giant strides in an ecosystem that was once alien to them,” he said.
The launch had in attendance representatives from the National Information Technology and Development Agency (NITDA), the Nigerian Computing Society (NCS),the blockchain community and the private sector.
The novel product, which is the first African blockchain technology consists of SmartAfri Chain (blockchain node), NFT Marketplace (Create and sell NFTs), SmartAfri Verse (Metaverse), SmartAfri eMarket (fusion of 2.0 and 3.0) and UNICCON VR(locally made and subsidized headsets).
The project seeks to increase stakes for Africans, encourage more developers to get into the niche and overall, to drive massive inclusion.